Memphis loses redshirt freshman guard Markel Crawford to left knee injury

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After missing all of last season to rehab a right knee injury (torn ACL) suffered during his senior year of high school, Memphis redshirt freshman Markel Crawford is part of a perimeter rotation that has to make up for the loss of four senior guards from last year’s team. Saturday night the Tigers suffered their fourth loss of the season, 73-55 to Oklahoma State, and in the defeat they lost Crawford as well.

Crawford injured his left knee in the first half, with Memphis head coach Josh Pastner saying after the game that the diagnosis was a sprained knee.

“Markell has a sprained left knee,” Pastner said after the game. “It was the opposite knee of where he had the ACL tear. He will be out until after Christmas. He’ll miss the next four games. The good news is it’s nothing more than a sprain.”

However according to a report by Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com, Crawford’s mother stated that he’d torn a ligament in the knee but did not mention which ligament. Crawford is averaging 5.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, and he’s started six of Memphis’ first seven games.

If Crawford does miss four games, his return would come on New Year’s Even when the Tigers play Houston in their American Athletic Conference opener. Memphis isn’t lacking for perimeter players from a numbers standpoint, but for a group that’s still finding its way no concrete answers have stepped forward to this point in the season.

Whether or not some of those guards, including Vanderbilt transfer Kedren Johnson and redshirt freshman Pookie Powell, can step forward in the coming weeks will determine Memphis’ chances of contending in the American.