One more obstacle.
I was really hoping we were done with offseason basketball news:
Michigan State men's basketball junior guard Korie Lucious underwent successful knee arthroscopy for a small meniscus tear in his left knee on Tuesday afternoon. He is expected to return in 2-6 weeks.
"I feel bad for Korie," said head coach Tom Izzo. "He's had a great fall on the court, playing some of the best basketball of his time at Michigan State. The injury is similar to the one Goran Suton had during his senior year, and he was able to return in a short amount of time. We expect that Korie will heal in a similar fashion."
As noted by Mr. Rexrode, we are now two and a half weeks out from Midnight Madness and exactly six weeks out from the regular season opener. So Lucious may not miss any regular season games (assuming Izzo isn't levying a suspension for last month's reckless driving incident), but he will miss a lot of crucial practice time. And he won't have a lot of time to ease into things: MSU starts Maui Invitational play 10 days after the regular season opener.
This is the second consecutive year in which Lucious will go into the season without the benefit of a complete offseason of preparation. Last year, a broken foot suffered in the national championship game cost him basically the entire offseason. The good news is that he was still able to get into the flow of things pretty quickly, averaging 20.6 minutes, 6.1 points, and 5.3 assists per game in MSU's first 7 games.
This situation puts even more pressure on Keith Appling to be a productive player right out of the gate. He and Durrell Summers will be the only scholarship guards going into the season at 100% health (knock on wood). Thankfully, it sounds like Appling has already made a lot of progress in terms of getting in sync with his new teammates:
"He actually knows how to play point guard better than I thought he could," Michigan State junior forward Draymond Green said. "He knows how to get his teammates involved in the game. He can shoot the ball and also get to the bucket, and he's quick enough to get around whoever's guarding him, especially in transition. He's very explosive."
"Since he's been on campus, I haven't seen him get stopped in transition one time," Green said.
UPDATE: On a positive note, it sounds like things are looking up in terms of where Kalin Lucas's basketball readiness level will be to start the season:
"In talking to T-Mack (trainer Tom Mackowiak), Kalin was probably as good a patient as he’s had," Izzo said. "And he’s almost playing better now, slowing himself down a little bit, not always trying to drive. Pulling up more and he’s shooting it really well.
"He’s able to do everything now. He’s cutting, jumping, he’s rebounding, he’s in the mix on things. The only questions I have are, can he sustain it for a couple hours, and how will he be going back-to-back (practices)?"