The injury bug took another bite at the Illinois basketball program on Saturday night.
While it has already created quite a street-clothes clad on the Illini bench, the injuries have now extended to Illinois' recruiting class. Playing in front of Illini fans at Parkland College last night, four-star 2016 point guard signee Te'Jon Lucas fell hard in the fourth quarter on a flagrant foul.
Lucas laid on the ground screaming in pain. Minutes later, his teammates had to carry him off the floor. Illini head coach John Groce was in attendance and he went behind the Milwaukee Washington bench with obvious concern. He has dealt with an unfathomable amount of injuries this year.
On Sunday morning, Lucas went to the doctor and found out that he broke his right ankle in two places - he told IlliniInquirer.com. On Friday, Milwaukee Washington will play for their conference championship, and they will start the state tournament in three weeks.
Lucas said he will have a follow-up appointment in Milwaukee when he returns home. That is when he will be given an official timetable, but it's certainly possible that he could be out for the rest of the year.
Lucas was subdued sitting in his seat at the State Farm Center prior to Illinois' game against Iowa. His foot is heavily wrapped and he is on crutches.
Everything was going smoothly until that moment on Saturday night. Lucas had 21 points and six assists in the game against Centennial before going down. He showed Illini fans a little bit of everything: Hitting some jumpers, driving to the basket and showing off his superb court vision in the halfcourt and transition.
Lucas said it was great to hear the fans cheer when they announced his name in the starting lineups. They will do the same this fall, but for now, there is utter disbelief for how unlucky the Orange and Blue have been.
Illinois' lone 2017 commit Javon Pickett missed Tuesday's game against Belleville Althoff with a right knee injury. He had an MRI on Friday and he is expected to find out the results on Monday.