By Paul M. Banks and David Kay
What sources first told The Sports Bank on Sunday has been confirmed; Badgers junior forward Jon Leuer is out indefinitely after injuring his wrist in Sunday’s victory against previously unbeaten Purdue.
Leuer took a hard fall early in the first half against Purdue and came out of the locker room at halftime with his left wrist heavily taped. The injury obviously hindered Leuer’s effectiveness as he was limited to four points on 2-15 shooting.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed by the injury, but I plan on being as big a part of this team as ever,” Leuer said in a statement released by the university. “I will continue to be at all the practices and conditioning sessions and support the team as best I can. I’m confident my teammates can continue the great season we’ve begun and I look forward to rejoining the team.”
No specific timetable for his return has been determined, but an injury like this typically takes 4-8 weeks depending on how well Leuer heals from surgery he is expected to undergo on Tuesday. That means he should likely be sidelined until late February/early March at the earliest, possibly the entire season.
In other words, this is a huge blow to the Sconnies’ NCAA hopes and/or tournament seeding. Leuer has scored 19 or more on 6 occasions this season, and has put double figure rebounds in four games. The 6-10, 225 forward from Long Lake, MN is the Badgers second leading scorer and leading rebounder, averaging 15.4 ppg, and 6.2 rpg.
With Leuer sidelined, the Badgers will need a more consistent effort from starting center Keaton Nankivil who has shown flashes this season, but has yet to string it all together over an extended period of time. Redshirt freshman Ryan Evans has been great off of Wisconsin’s bench and could replace Leuer in the starting line-up. The other option would be guard Jordan Taylor who is coming off a career-high 23 point performance against Purdue. Including Taylor in the starting line-up would give the Badgers a three-guard look with Taylor and seniors Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon. Expect to see a lot more of freshman Mike Bruesewitz on the court as well.
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