Michigan Wolverines senior forward Isaiah Livers suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and is going to be sidelined indefinitely.
Livers, who stated that he first noticed there was a problem during the team's New Year's Eve game vs. Maryland, believes that it would be nothing short of “miraculous” should he return during the NCAA Tournament.
“We could put it to a chance,” Livers said Monday on WTKA’s “The Michigan Insider” show. “I wouldn't say it's expected, just talking with the doctors and talking with Coach (Juwan) Howard. But if I do (return), that's miraculous.”
The condition was re-aggravated last Friday against Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
“He’s been playing well, functioning at a really high level, and then over the course of the year, just started to get a little bit of breakdown and/or an accumulative effect of small things happening,” athletic trainer Alex Wong said on the Inside Michigan Basketball radio show with Brian Boesch and Terry Mills. “And then unfortunately he was just having enough discomfort with our entry here to Indianapolis … ultimately, we ended up not playing him anymore [against Maryland] and then investigating further.”
So what would it take in Wong's mind for Livers to make a return to the court sometime during the Tournament?
“With any injury, you just want to make sure that functional activity can be maintained,” Wong explained. “So, can he even walk pain free? [That's] before we even fast forward to running and set shots, jump shots, shooting drills, etc. So it’s just getting that pain down, certainly getting him out of the walking boot.
“The NCAA has worked very diligently to create a mobile athletic training room in the athletic center, so there’s a number of resources there. Regardless of his return, we’ll work very hard to get him healthy just in general. We’ll employ all of the items that they have over there.
“It’s just a matter of a walk progression, to a jogging progression, to shooting, to planting, etc., a return to play. But it all starts with, can he walk pain-free, can we get him out of the boot? Just really follow his symptoms and allow his body to feel. Again, keeping in mind long-term health. Whenever that is, he’s got some great basketball ahead of him.”
Livers leads Michigan in shooting beyond the arc (44.6%), is ranked second on the team in total scoring (13.7 points) and third in total rebounds (6.1).