Shotgun Spratling | USCfootball.com

UPDATED: Bennie Boatwright injures knee, will be out "for a while"

SAN DIEGO -- USC forward Bennie Boatwright leaves game at San Diego with potentially serious left knee injury.

Sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright drove into the paint just three minutes into USC's 76-55 win at Jenny Craig Pavilion. He crashed into a San Diego defender and the referee blew his whistle.

The referee called a blocking foul on Juwan Gray, but Boatwright immediately grabbed for his left knee. He had stepped on Gray's foot and rather than his ankle buckling, it appeared his knee absorbed the shock of the action.

Trainer Jon Yonamine came out to check on Boatwright as did Andy Enfield. Boatwright's teammates looked on with varying looks ranging from concern to dismay. 

Boatwright wasn't willing to put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the court by Kurt Karis and Samer Dhillon. After an initial check on the bench, Yonamine took the 6-foot-10 forward to the trainer's table and examined the knee before giving him a bag of ice to put under and atop the knee.

"At least a sprain," Enfield said after the game. "We're hoping it's just a sprain, but we'll get an MRI tomorrow. Doctors will tell us what it is. We're hoping for the best.

"He'll certainly be out for a while. We're hoping it's a few weeks versus the season."

At halftime, Boatwright was assisted to the locker room by Karis and Dhillon where crutches were awaiting him.

https://twitter.com/ShotgunSpr/status/804169920703393792

He spent the second half watching the game, along with strength and conditioning coach Kurtis Shultz, from a spot on the opposite end of the court from USC's bench.

"He's a tough kid. He's been injured this preseason and I know he's frustrated," Enfield said. "Probably the most frustrated person in this arena because he want to be out there playing. He loves the game and he thinks about basketball 24 hours a game. He wants to be out there, so it's very hard on him. Injuries, even though they shouldn't be a part of the game, sometimes they are, but you've got to fight through it and he'll be back."

After the game, Boatwright left the game on crutches, but was trying to stay positive:

https://twitter.com/benniebuckets__/status/804195751114915840

Boatwright missed he first two games of the year and struggled with his shot for the first two games he played, but he was averaging 13.5 points and 4.8 rebounds after scoring 38 combined points in USC's last two games. 

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