Michigan's Jordan Morgan suffers sprained right ankle at Illinois, status unclear moving forward
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Michigan junior forward Jordan Morgan suffered a right ankle sprain two minutes into the second-ranked Wolverines' 74-60 win at Illinois on Sunday, and never returned to action.
Moving forward, his status remains unclear.
"I don't know," Michigan coach John Beilein said after the game. "I know that he has a sprained ankle, that's all I know so far.
"I know it was (bad enough that) he could not put weight on it."
Morgan -- who has made 87 career starts at Michigan -- was hurt during the early stages of the first half after falling awkwardly to the ground under the Wolverines' basket while attempting to catch a pass.
After grabbing his knee and lower leg while on the ground, Morgan stood up and attempted to walk back to the Michigan bench, but was eventually ushered into the locker room by team trainers.
He returned to the bench prior to halftime, and did not have any protective material on his leg -- though he was still walking with a visible limp.
Morgan spent most of the second half with his warmups on, as Beilein says he was not available.
"He could not (have played), or we would have (put him in)," Beilein said of Morgan, who is averaging 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds this season. "We need him every day out there, but we elected not to.
"We didn't want to hurt it any (further)."
With Morgan on the bench, Michigan turned to sophomore forward Jon Horford and redshirt freshman Max Bielfeldt to supplement freshman Mitch McGary in the frontcourt.
Horford scored a season-high 7 points to go along with 5 rebounds in 17 minutes, while Bielfeldt added 4 points and two rebounds. McGary finished with 6 points and 8 boards.
"I gave him a hug, I know how that feels," said Horford, who missed five games this season with a knee injury after earning a medical redshirt last season due to a foot injury. "It's really hard when you know you can't do anything except be there to support.
"I was just telling him it's all going to be good, he's going to bounce right back."
If Morgan had suffered an injury like this a year ago, the Wolverines likely would have been finished before they ever got started.
And though Michigan's improved depth on the blocks more than saved the day Sunday, the Wolverines are still hoping to have Morgan back in action sooner than later.
"Guys stepped up tonight," Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke said. "Coach calls him the 'minister of defense,' he's one of our older captains and he's been with the program for a while.
"Once he went down, Jon and Max came in and stepped up."
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