Indiana’s Maurice Creek suffers yet another brutal injury

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For the third time in less two years, Indiana’s Maurice Creek has suffered a devastating injury that will cost him a significant amount of time.

In December of 2009, Creek — then a freshman — broke the patella in his left knee. He had last season cut short when he suffered a stress fracture in his right patella. And on Monday, Indiana officially announced that Creek had undergone surgery after tearing the Achilles’ tendon in his left leg. He apparently suffered the injury in a non-basketball activity, but its unclear exactly what that activity was.

“This is a devastating blow for someone who has worked so hard to get himself in a position to help this program again,” Indiana head coach Tom Crean said in a statement. “He is going to receive the best medical care possible and we will take his recovery one day at a time. I think the most important thing that we can do is to make Maurice know that despite his injury, he can serve a very vital role in helping our program and we will actively keep him involved every day.”

His official status for this season in undetermined, but it should be pretty safe to assume that Creek will not be suiting up this year.

Frankly, I’m not sure how big of a loss this actually ends up being for Indiana. Don’t get me wrong, Creek was a beast when he was a freshman. He averaged 17.6 ppg in the 11 games before he suffered that first — gruesome — injury, but Creek was just not the same player last year. There were flashes, going for 15 points at Boston College or scoring 12 points against Ohio State, but it was obvious that Creek wasn’t his old self last season.

And as of September 20th, Creek still wasn’t close to 100 percent. Crean told Yahoo’s Jason King that “he’s not ready to practice. He’s done some one-on-one in limited settings but it hasn’t been with his teammates.” I don’t think off-base to assume that Creek likely would have struggled to even match the 8.4 ppg he averaged last season. With freshman Cody Zeller joining the now-upperclassmen Verdell Jones, Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls, the Hoosiers will have some pieces to work with. But if Crean is smart — and I assume he is — he has been preparing for this season as if Creek’s availability would have been limited anyway.

In a way, that makes this injury even sadder. It sucks seeing a kid with a promising future in a sport suffer because of a serious injury. Seeing that kid suffer three devastating injuries in the span of 22 months is heartbreaking. Here’s to hoping for a quick and complete recovery.

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Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.