After appearing to hyperextend his knee at Ohio State Tuesday, Kel’el Ware sat out of practice Wednesday, IU coach Mike Woodson said via Zoom on Thursday.
Ware’s status for a Saturday evening showdown at Purdue is uncertain as of Thursday morning, the third-year Indiana coach says.
“We had to give him the day off (Wednesday), so he basically went through treatment,” Woodson said. “So I’ll know more today when we practice to see where he is.”
Ware also missed multiple games recently due to an ankle injury.
Indiana might just be taking a conservative approach with Ware this week in advance of the Purdue rematch. At least that’s the hope for IU fans.
Ware planted awkwardly as he attempted a breakaway dunk in the final seconds of the 76-73 win in Columbus. But the 7-footer did appear set to check back into the game after receiving brief attention from the medical staff. He could be seen walking under his own powers and smiling with teammates in the moments after the injury.
Awaiting Ware if he plays Saturday is 7-foot-4 Purdue center Zach Edey. Ware finished with just five points on 2-for-6 shooting, six rebounds and two blocks in the first meeting with Edey. First-half foul trouble limited Ware to 26 minutes.
Woodson knows Ware will have to find the balance between playing Edey physically while avoiding fouls this time around.
“You got to bang some with him (Edey), because if you don’t, then you get embarrassed,” Woodson said. “He’s embarrassing a lot of teams. The guy is an unbelievable player. He’s a lot better than he was last year, and he was Player of the Year last year.”
Edey had 33 points and 14 rebounds in the first meeting. He’s averaging 23.1 points and 11.7 rebounds on the season while shooting 63.1 percent from the field.
Woodson also referred to sixth-year guard Xavier Johnson as “out indefinitely” on Thursday. Johnson appears doubtful to play against the Boilermakers.
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