Broken wrist sidelines Badgers’ Leuer
It’s a major blow for a team coming off its biggest victory of the season.
The school announced the injury Monday and said Leuer would have surgery today, days after the Badgers topped then-No. 4 Purdue, 73-66.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed by the injury, but I plan on being as big a part of this team as ever,” Leuer said in a statement released by the university. “I will continue to be at all the practices and conditioning sessions and support the team as best I can.
“I’m confident my teammates can continue the great season we’ve begun, and I look forward to rejoining the team.”
Leuer, a junior, has started all 16 games for No. 13 Wisconsin (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten) and has been the Badgers’ second-leading scorer, averaging 15.4 points along with a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game.
“Is it going to be easy? No. Are we going to whine about it? No, that’s not allowed,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said on the Big Ten weekly teleconference.
But Ryan, who has led the Badgers to eight straight NCAA tournament appearances in his first eight seasons, had no information about a timetable for Leuer’s return.
“I was an economics major, and I really would have a tough time giving you anything. I wouldn’t have a clue. Again, they don’t tell us anything other than what you saw (in the release),” Ryan said. “That’s all the information I get, and it’s been that way for nine years, ever since I’ve been here.”
Leuer broke his wrist in the first half when he tried to brace himself during a fall. He went on and played 38 of 40 minutes, but shot just 2 of 15 from the field for four points and grabbed 10 rebounds. An X-ray taken after the game revealed a fractured bone in the wrist.
The 6-foot-10 Leuer is one of the few threats both inside and outside for the Badgers, who have relied on their talented trio of guards—Trevon Hughes, Jason Bohannon and Jordan Taylor—to drive the offense.
Leuer grew 10 inches in high school, changing his skill set from a perimeter player to a post presence.
Since arriving in Madison, he’s bulked up each year and shown a willingness to work in the paint, averaging 2.4 more rebounds a game this season despite dealing with foul problems at times.
He’s also maintained his shooting touch, hitting 52 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range this season.
Leuer’s absence will change the starting lineup for the first time this season when Wisconsin plays at Northwestern on Wednesday followed by a trip to Ohio State on Saturday.
The undersized Badgers have two 6-10 freshmen, Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz. They also could start another guard like Taylor, Ryan Evans or Rob Wilson.
Last updated: 2:06 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012