East Lansing, MI
Tom Izzo wasted no time as he stepped to the microphone and announced that star guard Denzel Valentine would be out the next two to three weeks for the Spartans 12-0 and number one rated team. Per Izzo it was simply a small chip of cartilage came loose in Valentineâ€™s left knee.
“We found out about it last night, around 8:00 (Sunday night), he’s not even sure what he did, just going up for a layup maybe. It was no contact or anything like that. We were able to get him for surgery this morning at 7 (Monday), so that’s good. It’s not a big deal, really.”
Izzo also said that the Dr. told him for this kind of injury it went, â€œAs best as it could.â€ Valentine is the star of a team that is already wearing the moniker of #1 and it will give Eron Harris a chance to shine as he steps into Valentineâ€™s leading role.
It would be illogical to think that Harris can match Valentineâ€™s 18.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game, but he will give that a shot vs. a highly underrated Oakland team at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Tuesday. Look for Matt McQuaid to also pick up some increased minutes at the two as well.
The Spartans are currently tied for the best start in school history (with the 2000-2001 team) at 12-0 and looking to set the record solely on Tuesday. Based on the timetable that Izzo gave you can look for Valentineâ€™s return either January 7 at home vs. Illinois or on the road at Penn State on January 10.