WSU Basketball: DaVonte Lacy could be out another month with rib injury

USA TODAY Sports

The Cougars' leading scorer can't seem to escape the injury bug.

It seems neither DaVonte Lacy nor WSU coach Ken Bone can catch a break, as the Cougars could be without their leading scorer for another month because of a rib injury, Bone revealed on Tuesday during his Pac-12 teleconference.

Lacy earlier missed time after an emergency appendectomy. He sustained this injury -- a cartilage tear which is believed to be unrelated to the surgery -- just 11 minutes into his first game back after missing only two contests following the initial procedure.

The junior shooting guard has been enjoying his finest season in Pullman, emerging as a high-usage, high-efficiency scoring threat, averaging nearly 18 points per game. But he's been snake bit by injuries the last two seasons, as he missed four games early last season with a left knee injury before missing the final three games with a right knee injury.

He's now missed all or part of 13 of WSU's last 45 games with seemingly disparate injuries.

The timing couldn't be worse for Bone, who now is ostensibly coaching for his job without his best player for the foreseeable future. It's unfortunate for a guy who has suffered some really bad personnel luck in his time at WSU. Consider:

  • 2010-11: Reggie Moore, coming off a fabulous freshman season, suffers a preseason wrist injury that hampers his development and limits his contribution to Bone's most talented team.
  • 2011-12: Transfer Mike Ladd, expected to provide scoring punch, injures his shooting hand and misses 11 games, returning to limited effectiveness for the remainder of the season; Faisal Aden misses three games in the nonconference season before returning, then as he's finally coming into his own as an efficient scorer, Aden blows out his knee midway through Pac-12 play and is lost for the season.
  • 2012-13: In addition to Lacy's injury, Moore's preseason dismissal leaves the team without a competent point guard; Ladd misses six more games.

The man deservedly has his critics, but it's awfully tough for any team in college basketball to sustain many injuries and be able to perform up to expectations. This isn't football with its 85 scholarships for 22 starting spots; next man up just doesn't work here.

The Cougs have played well the last two games in Lacy's absence, having taken Colorado to the limit in Spokane before beating Utah in Pullman on Sunday. Without him, the extra shots have shifted to Que Johnson and Dexter Kernich-Drew, both of whom had excellent weekends. Kernich-Drew, in particular, enjoyed the best two-game stretch of his career.

Still, it's going to be rough sledding against a very good Pac-12.

If it's truly a 4- to 6-week injury for Lacy, the soonest he could be expected to return would be Feb. 1 against Washington, having missed just four games; on the long end it could be as Feb. 20 against Oregon State.

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