John Niyo, Matt Charboneau and James Hawkins preview the Michigan and Michigan State basketball seasons, which get underway on Tuesday. The Detroit News
East Lansing — Michigan State dodged a bullet on the injury front Thursday, but that probably isn’t taking away some of the pain for sophomore forward Thomas Kithier.
A team spokesman confirmed the 6-foot-8, 230-pound Kithier suffered a broken nose when he was struck by an inadvertent elbow during a recent practice.
However, Kithier will not miss any practice time and was described as “full-go” as No. 1 Michigan State prepares to face No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Kithier will wear a protective mask for now and is the likely starting power forward heading into Tuesday’s opener. He started the exhibition game against Albion and scored seven points while grabbing 11 rebounds in just more than 19 minutes of action.
“I thought I played pretty well,” Kithier said after the Albion game. “There were some minor things here and there I can improve on, but I think I played pretty decent.
"I think I rebounded well too.”
Kithier played in 31 games last season as a freshman, averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds while playing 5.8 minutes a game.