D.J. White doesn't know when he injured his foot or how it happened, but he now knows he's going to be sidelined for the majority of the non-conference season.
Indiana's 6-9, 230-pound sophomore forward found out Tuesday that he fractured his foot during Friday's exhibition game against St. Joseph's, and he'll be out until at least the latter part of December. White had an MRI on Monday, and received the results Tuesday.
White, who was courtside for Indiana's Tuesday afternoon practice with a boot on his left foot, said the injury won't require surgery, but it's still going to take time before he's ready to return to the floor.
"It hurts that I can't be out there with my teammates," White said Tuesday. "I'm a competitive person and I love to play. Sitting on the sidelines watching is going to be difficult, but it's something that I have to deal with right now."
While it remains unclear when White will be able to return, IU Coach Mike Davis said after practice that he's hopeful White can return in time to get two games under his belt before the start of Big Ten play. That would put White's return at Dec. 23 with IU's game against Butler in Indianapolis.
Both Davis and White stressed, though, that rushing him back quickly – and potentially prematurely – is something that won't happen.
"I want to get back as soon as possible, but I don't want to rush anything," said White. "I'm going to take my time and get back when I can."
White's absence will put a heavy burden on senior Marco Killingsworth to be IU's primary scorer in the paint. It will also likely mean more minutes for senior Sean Kline and freshman Ben Allen, the first two big men off the bench in IU's 63-65 exhibition win over St. Joseph's.
Killingsworth said he knows the injury is a tough one for White to deal with.
"He's hurting, really hurting," said Killingsworth. "He had big plans for this season. He was trying to show people more and more what he can do.
"He's hurting but he's trying to not show it, be strong for the team."
While White was disappointed when he received the news about the extent of the injury, he said it didn't come as much of a surprise. While no one has been able to pinpoint when the injury occurred, the discomfort was significant.
"I knew something was wrong with so much pain while I was playing on it Friday," said White. "When I head the news, it surprised me, but it didn't surprise me that much. I knew something was wrong."
White will undoubtedly miss both the Duke and Kentucky games, and he'll likely miss IU's Dec. 19 contest against Charlotte as well. While he's disappointed to miss the opportunity to play in those marquee contests, he's pleased that the entire season won't go by the wayside.
"If I'm going to be out, it's better to be out now," said White. I'll miss a couple of big games maybe, but I've got the Big Ten season and the NCAA Tournament to look forward to.
"I am going to take my time now, rehab, and get back to full strength."