Isaiah Livers, one of Michigan's top players, out indefinitely with foot injury

Sam Cooper
·3 min read

One of Michigan’s top players is out indefinitely.

Senior forward Isaiah Livers has a “stress injury” in his right foot, Michigan announced Saturday morning. Livers underwent an MRI after the Wolverines knocked off Maryland in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament and will now wear a protective boot while he begins rehabbing the injury.

It’s a significant blow for the Wolverines. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Livers earned second-team All-Big Ten honors this season while averaging 13.1 points and six rebounds per game. He also leads the team in 3-point makes (50) while shooting 43.1% from beyond the arc. He has started all 23 games this season for UM.

It is not immediately clear when Livers can return to the lineup. Michigan is set to take on Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals on Saturday. And with the NCAA tournament looming, Livers’ absence could put a major dent in Michigan’s national championship aspirations.

Livers, who has dealt with an array of injuries over his four years in Ann Arbor, played only 15 minutes against Maryland on Friday, giving Wake Forest transfer Chaundee Brown an increased role. Brown scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-3 from deep, in 28 minutes off the bench.

At 20-3 overall, Michigan was No. 4 in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 and is considered a likely No. 1 seed in next week’s NCAA tournament.

Michigan forward Isaiah Livers plays during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, March 7, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Michigan forward Isaiah Livers plays during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, March 7, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Ohio State starter out, too

Like Michigan, Ohio State will play Saturday’s Big Ten semifinal without a key piece as well.

The school said that senior forward Kyle Young will not be available after suffering a concussion during Friday’s win over Purdue in the Big Ten quarterfinals. Young has entered OSU’s medical protocols and “will be evaluated daily,” a school spokesperson said.

The 6-foot-8 Young poured in a season-high 18 points — all in the first half — before exiting Friday’s game after taking an accidental hit to the head from Purdue big man Trevion Williams.

Young, who averages 8.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, has started all season for the Buckeyes in the front line alongside E.J. Liddell. With Young unavailable, freshman Zed Key will likely be in line for more minutes as OSU contends with Hunter Dickinson, Michigan’s star 7-foot-1 center.

Tennessee senior out after elbow to head

Elsewhere, Tennessee has ruled senior forward John Fulkerson out for the remainder of the SEC tournament. Fulkerson was elbowed twice by Florida’s Omar Payne on Friday.

On Saturday, UT revealed that Fulkerson sustained a concussion and a facial fracture and will be unavailable for the remainder of the conference tournament. Tennessee, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, is set to face No. 1 seed Alabama in the semifinals on Saturday.

Fulkerson, who averages 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Vols, had eight points in 19 minutes before leaving the game early in the second half.

After the team’s 78-66 win over the Gators, Tennessee forward Yves Pons characterized the incident as a “dirty play.”

“That is nothing to do on a basketball court. We took it personally. We love John. We play for him. We had his back,” Pons said per The Tennessean.

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