Bloomington, Ind. – After being sidelined for a semester due to grades, one of A.J. Ratliff's ankles will likely keep him out of Saturday's game as well, according to IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.
Sampson said Ratliff's first-semester grades are in and the senior guard had a 3.1 grade point average, which would make him eligible to begin playing Saturday against Coppin State. But Sampson said Ratliff injured his left ankle in the second of a two-a-day practice Tuesday.
"A.J. came down on the inside of his left ankle, and that thing went up like a lemon," Sampson said. "His left ankle. I don't think he'll play Saturday."
The Hoosier coach said more details about Ratliff's injury could be gleaned from IU trainer Tim Garl, who said through an IU spokesman it was in fact Ratliff's right ankle that was injured when he landed on another player's foot, and Ratliff was doubtful for the Coppin State match-up.
Both Sampson and DeAndre Thomas said they didn't see Ratliff's injury.
"We were doing a cut throat drill, 3-on-3," Sampson said. "A.J. and Jordan, or two guards – A.J. and one of the guards – diving on the floor after a loose ball Tuesday afternoon. Next thing I know, A.J. and the trainers, Tim (Garl), they're draping him over their shoulders, limping, carrying him to the locker room."
Whichever ankle it is, the IU staff will once again be dealing with a short-handed backcourt. In addition to Ratliff's absence, Sampson said Armon Bassett with serve a third - and final - game suspension Saturday.
The Hoosiers will also be without Eli Holman for the foreseeable future as well. Sampson said Holman does in fact have ligament damage to his left wrist, although there are no plans for him to undergo surgery. According to Sampson, the freshman forward could be out for as few as three weeks or as long as the remainder of the season depending on how his rehabilitation goes.
"If it was his right hand, he might play," Sampson said. "that's probably a three to four week deal with those ligaments. The problem is it's his left hand. That concerns us a little bit. But there's no decision made on (how long he'll be out). We'll just rehab him and get him back as soon as we can."
Sampson said Holman's injury happened in practice last Monday when he ran into forward Mike White.
"He snapped it back," Sampson said "I don't think it happened on the fall. I think he just hit Mike. Mike or (DeAndre Thomas), there's a pretty good chance something is going to snap."
SAMPSON: Ankle Injury Shelves Ratliff
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