CHAMPAIGN – For as loud as it was for the better part of two hours on Tuesday evening, the State Farm Center was never so quiet just after the final horn sounded.
Yes, the last second loss to Michigan State was painful, but the shock was more for the player who was lying on the floor, grabbing his left knee in terrible pain.
My goodness. This does not look good for Ayo Dosunmu. Really, really hope he’s not done for the year, but that could be a major knee injury: pic.twitter.com/ZughJEXJHj
— Adam Spencer (@AdamSpencer4) February 12, 2020
Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu slipped while driving towards the bucket in the closing seconds of the loss to the Spartans, twisting his knee awkwardly, which necessitated him being carried off the floor. As that happened, many feared the worst for the Illini’s best player, since it looked like he might have torn something in his knee.
But on Wednesday afternoon, the guard got some incredibly good news, and the Illinois fan base took a major sigh of relief.
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) February 12, 2020
The Illini announced that an MRI on Dosunmu’s knee revealed no structural damage after the fall, and while no timeline was given for a return, there is a hope that the guard can return to help the team’s push for the NCAA Tournament.
“What happened with Ayo last night is as difficult a situation as you’ll see a young man go through, and a feeling where the outcome of the game goes from primary to secondary in a split second,” said head coach Brad Underwood in a statement released by the school. “We received positive news today from the MRI scan. Our medical staff will work with him around the clock on treatment and recovery. Ayo and his family have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from Illini Nation and college basketball fans everywhere.”
A native of Chicago and former standout at Morgan Park High School, Dosunmu has been a critical part of a strong Illini season in which the team is trying to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013. In 24 games, the guard is averaging 15.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game and was enjoyed one of his better efforts against the Spartans Tuesday.
Dosunmu had 17 points and nine rebounds Tuesday and helped the team rally from a 20-point second half deficit to grab a slim lead. While his efforts weren’t enough to pull out the victory, the guard got one on Wednesday thanks to a favorable MRI.