Indiana returns to its home floor for a nationally-televised Sunday afternoon game against Michigan State, but the Hoosiers will do so without A.J. Ratliff.
Coach Kelvin Sampson said the 6-3 junior has a torn ligament in his left wrist and will be sidelined for the game against the Spartans. Indications are the team is hoping Ratliff can be back for the Hoosiers' Jan. 13 game against Penn State.
"It's a bad injury," Sampson said. "It's not a sprained wrist. When you tear a ligament, sometimes it would be better if you'd break a bone…that ligament, that's a tough injury to overcome."
Ratliff suffered the injury Dec. 30 against Ball State and missed Tuesday's 74-67 loss at Ohio State. While the Hoosiers got big offensive games from Joey Shaw (16 points) and Armon Bassett (13), it's on the other end of the floor where IU misses Ratliff the most.
"I thought the area Ohio State exposed us the most was on the defensive end," Sampson said. "When Earl (Calloway) and A.J. are on the floor together, perimeter-wise, we're a pretty good defensive team."
With Ratliff watching from the sidelines, Ohio State shot 50 percent from the floor overall, and Buckeye point guard Mike Conley was able to consistently get into the lane and either finish or create for his teammates.
"(Not having A.J.) changes us a lot," said D.J. White. "His defensive presence means a lot."
Ratliff Out for Michigan State
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