As if things weren’t already bad enough for Michigan’s basketball team, on Tuesday, after Derrick Walton sat out the Wolverines win over Nebraska, head coach John Beilein told reporters that Walton’s injured foot would need to be examined further.
Walton sprained his toe in late November and has never gotten back to full health, and according to Beilein, overcompensating for the injury has resulted in Walton straining something in his right foot.
“My uneducated decision is he strained something in his foot by landing over and over the wrong way as it’s grown over time,” Beilein said. He added that he never considered having Walton play on Tuesday because the sophomore point guard had sat out the last two practices and needed to use a scooter to be able to get around campus. “The toe seems to be getting better but now he’s favoring it.”
“Right now we’re just hoping he’ll be able to play (vs. Michigan State), hoping we’ll be able to ice him and rehab him, but it appears to be more than that at this point,” Beilein added. “We’ll know certainly more two or three days from now.”
That’s not a good sign at all.
Michigan is already dealing with enough loss this season. It wasn’t bad enough that Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary all left early while Jon Horford made the decision to transfer, they also lost Caris LeVert to a season-ending foot injury last week. The result has been a historic drop-off in offensive efficiency this season.
And yet, here Michigan is, sitting at 6-3 in the Big Ten and in a position where an at-large bid is not out of the question despite losses to NJIT and Eastern Michigan earlier this season. It won’t be easy — they have five more road games in the Big Ten, including trips to Maryland, Indiana and two games against Michigan State.
So the opportunities will be there for them.
But just how long will Spike Albrecht, Ricky Doyle and Max Bielfeldt be able to keep this thing afloat?