Thursday, February 7, 2013
By Luke Lapinski
Michigan State is a dangerous team this time of year. But Tom Izzo needs his players healthy. Unfortunately, that's no guarantee at the moment. In last night's win over No. 18 Minnesota, Branden Dawson rolled an ankle, Adreian Payne hurt his nose and Keith Appling suffered a shoulder injury.
On the surface at least, Appling's issue has the potential to be the most worrisome at the moment. The junior guard is integral to the Spartans' success as the man tasked with distributing the ball, getting the offense going and generally making things happen. If he has to miss time or has any hesitation on the court because because he's worried about the injury, that could be a problem. According to Diamond Leung, Appling's right shoulder "popped out" late in the contest with the Gophers.
MSU's leading scorer claims he could have finished the game and seems intent on playing when the Spartans travel to Purdue on Saturday. Izzo, however, was more cautious. He opted to sit his star player as time wound down last night, and wasn't certain of his status going forward just yet. He did point out that Appling's shoulder was put back in place quickly, giving him hope that it "didn't stretch everything". If that's the case, perhaps it won't prove to be serious. That would be ideal, because the last thing the Spartans -- or Appling -- need is a recurring shoulder problem.