Leach Out Indefinitely With Injury
December 1, 2003Bloomington, Ind. - Indiana senior center George Leach is out indefinitely with a left knee injury. Leach suffered the injury with nine minutes left in regulation during IU's 80-77 overtime victory over Xavier at The Wooden Tradition Nov. 29 at Conseco Fieldhouse. When Leach attempted to block a shot by Xavier guard Lionel Chalmers, Leach came down awkwardly on his left knee. The 6-11 center underwent an MRI Saturday night, and the IU basketball medical staff determined that he will be sidelined indefinitely.
Leach's injury is a significant loss to the young Hoosier lineup. Leach led the Big Ten in blocked shots last season (79) and recently moved into fifth on IU's career rejection list (155). He started each of the first three games this season and is averaging eight points per game. He posted season-highs of 11 points and five blocks at Vanderbilt on Nov. 24.
"This is unfortunate for George personally as well as for our team," IU coach Mike Davis said. "George has been working hard and is continuing to develop. Our non-league schedule is so tough, and we need George's defensive presence in the low post. Sean Kline has been playing real well, and we have a lot of confidence in (junior forward) Mike Roberts, (freshman forward) Pat Ewing, Jr. and (freshman forward) Jessan Gray-Ashley.
"(Trainer) Tim Garl, Dr. (Larry) Rink and Dr. (Steve) Ahlfeld will be working hard with George to rehab his knee, and hopefully, he can help us in the Big Ten season."
Leach is not going to let this injury deter his contributions to the 2-1 Hoosiers, who visit No. 18 Wake Forest Tuesday night in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge (7 p.m., ESPN).
"I definitely plan to come back," Leach said. "Tim, Dr. Rink and Dr. Ahlfeld will make sure I get the right treatments and rehabilitation so that I can come back later this year. But we have some really tough games coming up, and I am going to encourage and support the team as much as possible. I really want to help Mike Roberts and the younger guys like Pat and Jessan. This is a great opportunity for all three guys, especially the younger ones, to come in and establish themselves early in the season. "
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