Duke basketball: Trevor Keel’s injury status after losing to FSU

No. Duke played the final 15 minutes of Tuesday night’s 79-78 overtime loss against the state of Florida with no freshman guard Trevor Keels and the Blue Devils have no idea when he will be available again.

The rugged 6-5, 221-pound Keels, who has started every game for Duke this season, injured the calf on his right leg, said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“It’s not a knee, it’s a calf injury,” Krzyzewski said. “But we don’t know its magnitude.”

Averaging 12.1 points this season, Keels scored nine points against Florida State before leaving the game with 10:11 remaining in the regulations. His right leg twisted awkwardly in a crowd of players after insulting Florida State’s Jalen Warley.

Krzyzewski and Jose Fonseca, Duke’s head coach of men’s basketball, immediately rushed onto the court to nurse Keels, who was writhing on the floor in pain. Three Duke players, plus Krzyzewski and Fonseca, helped Keels to his feet.

Keels wrapped his arms around two of his teammates, who helped him from the field. After initially not putting any weight on his right leg, he eventually walked cautiously, with help from teammates, to the bench. He was returned to Duke’s locker room and did not return to the match.

DukeFloridaStBasketball (7) .JPG
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski holds the hand of injured guard Trevor Keels during the second half of the TEMA’s NCAA college basketball game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Florida, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Florida State won 79-78 in overtime. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser) Mark Wallheiser AP

The leg is further examined at Duke.

Without him, Duke recovered from a nine-point deficit in the second half before losing in extra time.

The Blue Devils have a busy schedule ahead of them. Saturday’s home game with Syracuse is the first of four games Duke will play over a 10-day period. The Blue Devils play at home against Clemson on January 25, followed by road games in Louisville on January 29 and Notre Dame on January 31.

“Playing without Trevor is tough,” said Duke junior striker and team co-captain Wendell Moore. “He’s one of our top ball-handlers. He’s one of our top scorers. He’s definitely one of our best ball defenders. So he brings us a lot. Since he doesn’t have him, everyone has to stand up. I think some guys have it tonight have done quite well in his absence.”

Keels’ injury meant sophomore Jeremy Roach, who had started Duke’s first 14 games before coming off the bench for the last three, was thrown back into a more prominent role. Averaging 8.3 points and 2.9 assists per game this season, Roach played 29 minutes at Florida State. He scored six points and collected six assists on one turnover.

“It’s a quick turnaround,” Moore said. “Hopefully we’ll have Trevor on Saturday (against Syracuse). If not, we have to see it as a next-man mentality and turn our backs on Saturday.”

This story was originally published January 19, 2022 1:24 am.

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Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer since 2010. He placed second in both beat writing and breaking news in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2019 national competition. Previously, Steve worked for The State (Columbia, SC), Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), The Sun Herald (Biloxi , Miss.), Charlotte Observer and Hickory (NC) Daily Record covering beats including Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, South Carolina Athletic University and SC General Assembly. He has won numerous awards from state-level press associations. Steve graduated from Illinois State University in 1989.

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