The Duke Blue Devils announced they have decided to sit senior Amile Jefferson for the remainder of the season, according to Stephen Wiseman of the Herald Sun.
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Duke Will Seek Medical Redshirt
Saturday, March 5
Jefferson hasn't played since breaking his right foot in practice on Dec. 12. The team will seek a medical redshirt, per Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated.
Adam Rowe of 247Sports shared part of the press release Duke issued:
Adam Rowe @AdamRoweTDD
#Duke will seek a medical redshirt for @AmileJefferson after deciding to sit him for rest of this year. https://t.co/SFZHhYXZMR2016-3-5 21:02:47
Jefferson had been practicing, though he was limited, in the past few weeks but hadn’t progressed enough to return to game action.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski initially said he would miss “maybe two” months, but he expected the star forward back at some point.
Once the two-month threshold passed and his injury wasn't healing the way he’d hoped, it seemed likely Jefferson wouldn’t return this season.
Players are eligible for medical hardship waivers if they have played in no more than 30 percent of a team’s games. Jefferson has missed all but nine.
By announcing his intent to pursue the redshirt, it seems evident Jefferson plans to return next season.
His injury came at a time when he seemed to finally be blossoming after playing off the bench during his first three seasons. He was averaging 11.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists while playing in 30.3 minutes.
By allowing his leg to fully heal and returning next season as Duke's top big man once Marshall Plumlee graduates, Jefferson can have a fresh start at full strength.
Duke will now go for its title defense with the corps that has won eight of its last 11 after a midseason skid. The Blue Devils aren’t nearly as dominant as they were a year ago, but then again, no one in college basketball has emerged as the distinct No. 1.