Zion Williamson Does Not Return vs. FSU After Suffering Eye Injury

Florida State guard Trent Forrest, right, gets his hand in the face of Duke forward Zion Williamson forcing a turnover in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press

Duke forward Zion Williamson was forced to leave Saturday’s game against Florida State early after getting poked in the eye late in the first half.

Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski explained the player’s symptoms after the game:

Williamson did not return in the second half, but his team escaped with an 80-78 win. He had 11 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the first half before getting tangled with Florida State guard Trent Forrest. 

The freshman entered the season as one of the most hyped high school players in years thanks to his viral dunks, although he has shown he is more than just highlights.

The 5-star prospect was rated as the No. 5 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class, per 247Sports, and was a key part of Duke’s No. 1 class in the country.

The McDonald’s All-American has somehow exceeded expectations at the college level, entering the day averaging 20.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season.

While this injury might not keep him out long, it could still take away valuable playing time from a player who is still learning how to round out his game before potentially making the leap to the NBA.

Duke has enough depth to handle even an extended absence from Williamson if needed, with RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish likely to take over the scoring load. Still, this injury could keep one of the most exciting players in college basketball off the court.

The Blue Devils have a short break before facing Syracuse at home on Monday.      

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