Kalin Lucas is in a “definitely maybe” situation for the No. 5 MSU men’s basketball team.
Speaking after Thursday’s practice, MSU head coach Tom Izzo called Lucas “very, very questionable” for Saturday’s 9 p.m. game at Illinois, but said because the junior guard’s playing is contingent mostly on how he feels, Izzo said it remains a possibility.
“He’s been icing all day,” Izzo said. “He’s a little more swollen today, which was disappointing. But it’s gone down a little bit. What they’re trying to get him to do is in 48 hours — which won’t even be until 10 o’clock tonight — is have him walking on it and hope to get some blood through it.”
Midway through the second half of MSU’s 67-49 loss to Wisconsin on Tuesday, Lucas’ right leg landed awkwardly on the leg of Wisconsin forward Keaton Nankivil as Lucas was coming down from a jump shot. He left the game unable to put any weight on it and was on crutches and in a boot after the game.
Izzo said Thursday evening Lucas is off crutches, but remains in a boot.
“I’d say (Lucas is) very, very questionable for Saturday,” Izzo said. “Do I know? I don’t know. Would I hide it from Illinois? Not in a million years. … He’s capable of not practicing for two days and still playing. Do I think of him as a key guy for Saturday? Well, that’s already out. Do we play him to win a game and damage it? No. We’ll know more (Friday), but I could see this being a Saturday-afternoon decision.”
Lucas left the game with seven points, ending his streak of consecutive games scoring in double figures at 33. He is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year and an MSU co-captain.
After Tuesday’s loss, Lucas led the team in points (15.6 per game) and minutes (30.9).
He was not made available to media after Thursday’s practice.
Izzo said the positive of the situation is nothing is torn and it doesn’t appear to be a situation where the injury could worsen.
“Is it ballooned up and this and that? No,” Izzo said. “There’s no tear. It’s your typical what-guys-do-in-beer-league sprained ankle.”
Izzo also said he was 90 percent sure it’s a lower-ankle sprain and the decision will come down to doctors and Lucas’ tolerance for the pain and mobility.
“I just watch him walk and say, ‘If you can barely walk Thursday, how do you play on Saturday in a big game?’” Izzo said. “But we’re not worried about it getting worse. It’s just strictly on pain tolerance and mechanics. In other words, can he move it?
“If he can play, he’ll play. I do know that.”
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