James Blackmon Jr. Injury: Updates on Indiana Star's Knee Surgery and Recovery

Adam WellsFeatured Columnist

Nov 30, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard James Blackmon Jr. (1) shoots a free throw against the Alcorn State Braves at Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Hoosiers guard James Blackmon Jr. is out for an undetermined amount of time after undergoing surgery to repair his injured right knee.  

According to a release from the school's athletic website Tuesday, it was determined Blackmon needed surgery to protect his "immediate and long-term health."

Continue for updates. 

Blackmon's Not Expected to Return This Season

Tuesday, Jan. 5

The official release states Blackmon is not expected to play again this season. He was injured Dec. 28 during practice.

Indiana head coach Tom Crean said during a radio appearance (via Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star) after Blackmon was hurt that they were "in the early stages of seeing where [it's] at."

One week later, a more definitive conclusion has been reached for Blackmon. Crean released a statement, included in the official release, about Blackmon's importance to the Hoosiers: 

He is establishing himself as one of the most elite guards in the country this season. I feel terrible for him and he has a tough road ahead of him but it is one he has been down before and we fully believe that this process will lead him to have an incredible future in the game at Indiana and well beyond.  We look forward to helping him with his full recovery and I know he appreciates everyone's thoughts, prayers and concerns.

Knee problems have plagued Blackmon lately, as he suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee over the summer that required surgery. 

Indiana is off to a solid 12-3 start this season, including two early wins in the Big Ten over Rutgers and Nebraska. Things will get tougher for the Hoosiers with games against Wisconsin and Ohio State this week. 

Blackmon is an essential piece of Indiana's roster. The sophomore ranks second on the team in scoring, fifth in rebounds and shoots 48 percent overall, including 46.3 percent from three-point range. 

Losing Blackmon's shooting touch, whether it's a short or a long absence, will have a profound impact on Indiana. The Hoosiers aren't deep at guard with Blackmon and Yogi Ferrell leading the way, so players like Harrison Niego and Nick Zeisloft need to step up their performance to keep the team going strong.