Injury-ravaged Michigan State is in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in two decades.
Following a home loss to Northeastern, the Spartans are 7-5, missing out on every marquee, non-conference win in arguably the toughest schedule in the nation. They’ve played the last four games with their best player, Miles Bridges. The heralded freshman has been out since the start of the month due to an ankle injury.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Bridges is no longer wearing a boot on his left foot. However, that doesn’t mean a return is imminent, according to Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com.
“He just got out of the boot, so the chances of him playing right away after Christmas are slim, but I don’t know that,” Izzo said. “If it were up to him, he’s playing tomorrow night. So I have to watch that and make sure I do what’s right for him in the long run, not him in the short run.”
Michigan State has played all season without big men Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter, the UNLV graduate transfer. Bridges’ absence has only added to the thin frontline.
Bridges leads the Spartans in points (16.6), rebounds (8.8) and minutes (32.5) per game.
Michigan State has one more non-conference game — Dec. 21 against Oakland — before opening Big Ten play on Dec. 27 against Minnesota.