As if Michigan State's offseason needed another bit of news, one more bit of excitement, an added dash of spice to what is already an overseasoned dish. Most Spartans fans would kindly like the season to start soon; it seems their team is unable to make it more than a few weeks without another ostensibly negative headline.
This time, and not for the first, the headline involves junior point guard Korie Lucious. Per a release from MSU media relations, Lucious underwent "successful knee arthroscopy for a small meniscus tear in his left knee on Tuesday afternoon." Lucious is expected to miss anywhere from two to six weeks. His coach, Tom Izzo, is feeling rather bad about that:
"I feel bad for Korie," said head coach Tom Izzo. "He's had a great fall on the court, playing some of the best basketball of his time at Michigan State. The injury is similar to the one Goran Suton had during his senior year, and he was able to return in a short amount of time. We expect that Korie will heal in a similar fashion."
For what it's worth, arthroscopic surgery is one of humankind's foremost medical miracles. Lucious should take solace in knowing that modern medical science has made it possible for him to suffer what sounds like a serious injury -- it is never encouraging to hear the word "tear" in regards to one's knee -- in relatively short order. With two weeks until Midnight Madness and about six weeks until Michigan State opens its season, he might not even miss any games.
Still, it adds another issue for Lucious and Izzo to deal with on top of August's arrest for operating while intoxicated. (Lucious, who is under 21, was caught driving with a blood alcohol content of .09. It was his first offense and he plead guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless driving.) It looks like Izzo isn't going to suspend Lucious for the incident, but now, with the injury, that might not matter. What will matter is whether highly touted freshman guard Keith Appling can step in and play valuable minutes right away.
If so, Michigan State won't miss a step. If not, the Spartans could, as they are wont to do under Izzo, get off to an uncomfortably slow start.