Mar 21, 2013, 6:47 PM EDT
The good news of Michigan State’s opening-round win over Valparaiso has been slightly tinged with worry. MLive.com is reporting that star guard Keith Appling aggravated a knee injury when he ended up on the receiving end of an alley-oop pass in the first half of the game.
Appling downplayed the injury, telling reporters “I kinda tweaked my knee a little bit when I was going up for a lob. It’s nothing major, I should be all right.”
His coach didn’t sound quite to sanguine. Though Appling did play the rest of the game, Tom Izzo thought the pain showed.
“They say it’s tendonitis — it’s nothing else. But you saw in the second half, he didn’t look the same.”
Indeed, Appling seemed to continue to perform at a high level offensively, ending up with 15 points and six rebounds, but he seemed a step slow defensively after the knee was tweaked. Appling addressed the fact that he had trouble stopping Valpo guard Erik Buggs in the second half.
Buggs scored all 14 of his points in the second half, driving past Appling to the rim.
“There were a couple of breakdowns, but you have to give him credit, he’s a very quick guy and he made some plays, finished really well at the rim,” Appling said. “The majority of that is on me, because I was the guy guarding him.”
Appling will likely rest and recover before Michigan State faces Memphis on Saturday, but his condition, and how he plays against the Tigers, will bring a few nervous moments for Spartans fans.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
- Top 25 Countdown: No. 15 Oklahoma Sooners 0
- 2014-2015 Season Preview: Which new coaching hires will succeed? 0
- No longer supplementary pieces, two Texans will lead the way at Weber State 0
- 2014-2015 Season Preview: Weber State won’t lack for challengers in Big Sky 0
- Led by senior forward Alan Williams, UCSB capable of earning first NCAA tournament bid since 2011 0
- Behind Thompson and Comer, Dunk City looks to take flight once again this March 1
- New Mexico’s Craig Neal cuts hair for ‘Locks of Love’ (VIDEO) 0
- Big Ten writers release media poll, Wisconsin sits atop the league (6)
- Has Maryland found a new starting center? (2)
- First Preseason Top 25 poll is out, Kentucky sits at No. 1 (2)
- Maryland senior forward suffers sprained ankle (2)
- 2014-2015 Northeast Conference Preview: Is it time for Robert Morris to dance again? (1)