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Michigan State's Kyle Ahrens out vs. Penn State with back sprain

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Michigan State's Kyle Ahrens will miss Sunday's game at Penn State with a back sprain.

State College, Pa. — Michigan State has been without guard Joshua Langford for the past three games, and entering Sunday’s matchup with Penn State, the Spartans will be without his replacement.

Junior Kyle Ahrens did not make the trip with the team to Penn State because of a back sprain that he tweaked last week in a win at Ohio State and aggravated in Tuesday’s victory over Purdue.

The team lists Ahrens’ status as day-to-day. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Aaron Henry, who is making his first career start.

“We’re gonna miss Kyle like we miss Josh,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said on the pregame show. “Josh Langford was playing phenomenal and Kyle Ahrens is having a very good year, too.

“Now, some of it is going to the freshmen and I think Aaron Henry is ready and Gabe Brown is gonna have to get ready and Foster Loyer might play a few more minutes.”

Ahrens has been a vital piece to No. 6 Michigan State’s success this season. He started four games earlier in the season when Matt McQuaid was out with a deep thigh bruise, playing 41 minutes and scoring 15 points at Louisville and scoring the final seven points in a victory at Florida.

“Right now, we’re down two quality guys,” Izzo said, “and we have to find a way to win without them.”

Twitter: @mattcharboneau