Duke announced via its Twitter account what fans had feared since the Blue Devils’ win over Clemson: Ryan Kelly will be off the court indefinitely due to a right foot injury.
Officials confirmed the injury took place during the first half of the game on January 8, when Duke defeated Clemson 68-40. While they did not state the nature of the injury, it is notable that Kelly sustained a sprain injury to the same foot last March. That injury caused him to miss the ACC tournament as well as sitting out Duke's opening-round NCAA tournament loss to Lehigh.
The injury comes at a bad moment for the 6’11”, 230-pound starting forward, who had been averaging 13.4 points per game this season—the third-best average on the team. Kelly has helped the Blue Devils to their top ranking and earned his share of the Blue Devils’ 15-0 record with a 67.7% scoring average shooting from beyond the arc.
Kelly scored the team 12 first-half points in the win against Clemson, but was stuck on the sidelines for the entirety of the second half. He remained absent for the rest of the game, after which Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked to comment on the injured forward’s condition.
"We're hopeful that it's not real serious,” Krzyzewski told reporters, “but for precautionary reasons, we felt that it was not good to play [Kelly] in the second half."
The Blue Devils typically use a seven-man rotation, so it is unknown how the roster will look while Kelly recovers from his injury.