Shelton out indefinitely

TUSCALOOSA -- The University of Alabama's scoring leader, junior guard Earnest Shelton, sprained his right MCL in Wednesday night's Georgia game and will be out indefinitely.

"I think it really hurts us," said University of Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried. "We don't know how long it's going to be. Any team that loses their leading scorer, obviously that makes things a lot more difficult for you. And it's unfortunate because he's been playing exceptionally well on both ends of the court.

"We'll take it game by game, see how he feels, and, hopefully it won't be long."

No time table has been given as to how long the healing process will take. Shelton is not expected to play in Saturday's game at Ole Miss. Projected to start in his place is senior Emmett Thomas who is averaging 8.8 points and 3.0 rebounds a game this season.

Earnest Shelton, a Memphis, Tenn., native, is Alabama's scoring leader and ranks 11th in the Southeastern Conference in scoring at 15.5 points a game this season. His play has been key for the Crimson Tide and includes five games this season where he scored 20 or more points, including the 20 he scored to help Alabama beat top-25 ranked Wisconsin on December 30th.

Shelton injured the knee in a collision on the court at Georgia on Wednesday night with 35 seconds remaining in the first half. He attempted to play in the second half, starting the second half, but was quickly pulled out of the game because of the injury.

Alabama, 11-4 overall and in second place in the SEC Western Division at 3-1 in overall league play, travels to Oxford, Miss., for its next game. It plays Ole Miss, 9-6 overall, 1-3 in the SEC at 5 p.m. CT.

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