Ryan Kelly had surgery to repair damage to the same foot he broke earlier this season, his second surgery on the foot in 13 months, according to multiple reports.
The Duke forward, who was a senior this season, missed 13 games after breaking the foot in a win over Clemson on Jan. 8. He averaged 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds this season.
After returning with authority right after the injury — the 6-11, 230-pound Kelly scored a season-high 36 on 10-of-14 shooting, including 7-of-9 from three in 32 minutes in a 79-76 win over Miami on March 2 — Kelly’s production tapered off late in the season. He scored 18 in the Blue Devils’ next game, a win over Virginia Tech, but never scored more than his nine-point effort in Duke’s Sweet 16 win over Michigan State for the rest of the season, ending with a seven-point game in the Elite Eight loss to Louisville. Sounds like there might have been a legitimate reason.
Duke’s Ryan Kelly undergoes right foot surgery and will be sidelined for 12 weeks. He decided to return to action for NCAAs.
— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) April 9, 2013
Can’t blame a senior for wanting to play his final games in college, injury and all.
The surgery, while a short-term setback, should help Kelly get healthy and catch on with an NBA team, at the very least for the summer. The league likes big shooters (Steve Novak comes to mind when comparing Kelly, duh) and Kelly shot 42 percent from three-point range and 81.2 percent from the free throw line this season.
Kelly’s career at Duke is one to be admired. He steadily improved his scoring average each year. Going from 1.2 points as a freshman to 12.9 as a senior. And also built his game around the arch — from 26.3 percent as a frosh to his percentage this season.
Those last two paragraphs alone could get Kelly a shot. I mean, just down the road, the Charlotte Bobcats need all the help they can get.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten