As he has done all season, Shabazz Napier was pacing the UConn Huskies offense in the round of 32 against the Villanova Wildcats with 20 points, four rebounds and two steals.
But with the Huskies battling their way slowly ahead of the Wildcats, Napier had to leave the court after suffering what appeared to be a minor leg injury, as Dave Borges of the New Haven Register reports:
Shabazz limping badly. Right foot, I think.— David Borges (@DaveBorges) March 23, 2014
Brendan Purty of The Star-Ledger gave more details from the sidelines on Napier's injury:
UConn's trainer tending to Shabazz Napier's right shin, it looks like. Not ankle. Still on the sidelines.— Brendan Prunty (@BrendanPrunty) March 23, 2014
Dana O'Neil of ESPN gave her own account of the trainers working on Napier throughout the game:
Actually looks like working on Napier's shin/calf. Again on bench while team huddles during TO.— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) March 23, 2014
Following that tweet, O'Neil gave one more observation regarding the UConn star:
Napier up, walks into back of huddle.— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) March 23, 2014
Shortly after that timeout, Napier got up under his own power, walked over to the scorer's table and checked into the game. He then made his return felt as he went up for a huge drive and bucket to help the Huskies pull away.
That play also drew a reaction from Purty:
Stupid. That was just stupid.— Brendan Prunty (@BrendanPrunty) March 23, 2014
After the game Hartford Courant reporter Dom Amore had an update on Napier:
Napier had 25 points in 25 mins. Right shin is wrapped. #uconnmen— Dom Amore (@AmoreCourant) March 23, 2014
Napier has averaged 17.6 points, six rebounds and five assists on the season for UConn. But in the NCAA tournament, he has averaged over 20 points as the Huskies advanced to the Sweet 16 with a win over Villanova.
With Napier returning to the court and finishing out the game for the Huskies, it would appear he is healthy enough to continue on during the tournament. But as more information comes through about the UConn star, it will be added to this story.
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