UM's Caris LeVert out for season with injured foot

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Michigan's up-and-down season already seemed to be teetering on the brink of either contending for the Big Ten title or scratching to make the NIT Tournament field.

Whatever postseason hopes the Wolverines have, they'll have to make it without their leading scorer, Caris LeVert.

UM announced Sunday that LeVert will miss the remainder of the season after injuring his left foot in the final seconds of Saturday night's 56-54 win over Northwestern at Crisler Center.

On the final play, LeVert was going for a rebound and jumped into the air before landing awkwardly on the foot. After it buckled, LeVert lay on the court in pain as time expired and the Wolverines celebrated.

LeVert finished with 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists but hobbled off the court after postgame interviews on BTN. In his postgame comments, Beilein said he wasn't certain about the extent of the injury but LeVert would be examined quickly.

The news turned out to be not what any of them hoped for, as Michigan (11-7, 4-2 Big Ten) will have to go the rest of the way without one of its co-captains and leader in scoring (14.9), rebounds (4.9), assists (3.7) and steals (1.7).

"Caris has been working so hard this season, and for this to happen is very unfortunate," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "If we know anything about Caris, he will do everything it takes to not only get better, but to help his teammates during this time.

"He is a tremendous young man who I will really miss coaching the remainder of the season. However, I am optimistic he will have a complete recovery."

LeVert, a 6-foot-7 guard, will have surgery this week and faces 12 weeks of recovery and rehab. It's the same foot that he injured toward the end of last season; that injury was a stress fracture and required surgery in May, which kept him out of much of the summer workouts and limited him during Michigan's summer exhibition tour in Italy.

This season, LeVert returned to full strength and was a preseason All-Big Ten selection and potential first-round draft choice, if he decided to leave early for the NBA draft.

"While this is obviously not what I wanted, I know this team will come together and be stronger because of it," LeVert said. "Now more than ever, it is important for all of us support this team. For me, I am familiar with the recovery process and what work lies ahead for me.

"I am very confident that I will return 100 percent and have already begun work to ensure that happens."