Saturday, March 12, 2011

Toes are the talk of Greensboro

Duke has already lost one star point guard to a toe injury. Now, they may have lost their national player of the year candidate.

Nolan Smith suffered a toe when he landed awkwardly on a jump pass to Kyle Singler midway through the Blue Devils 87-71 ACC quarterfinal victory over Maryland.

"I'm not sure of Nolan's status for tomorrow," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We won't know that probably until tomorrow morning. But he wasn’t able to come back into the ballgame, so we're concerned about that."

Smith needed quite a bit of help to walk off the court after the injury, which puts his status for tomorrow's semifinal matchup with Virginia Tech in doubt. He's scheduled to get x-rays tomorrow morning. If he cannot go, Seth Curry -- the Liberty transfer -- will be running the point. Without Smith in the lineup, Curry did an admirable job leading the Blue Devils as they turned a five point lead into a 16 point victory.

Perhaps this was karma for Duke.

Prior to the game, Kyrie Irving -- who was Duke's original toe injury sufferer -- was on the court, in uniform, working out. It sent a buzz across the arena -- and twitter -- and the possibility that Irving could play. Turns out, he was just doing some rehab workouts:

Irving has done some dribbling drills with Potter holding a resistance band around his waist. Irving was also doing some side-to-side shuffling drills and has taken a handful of jump shots.
There is still no timetable for Irving's return.

We do know one thing, however.

If Smith's injury turns out to be serious, two toes will be what did in their season.

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