Zion Williamson out vs. Syracuse After Knee Injury Diagnosed as Sprain

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 20: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after falling as his shoe breaks during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke star freshman Zion Williamson has been officially ruled out of Saturday's game against Syracuse due to a Grade 1 knee sprain suffered on Wednesday, according to The Athletic's Brian Hamilton.

The Stadium's Jeff Goodman first reported on Friday that Williamson would not play against the Orange.

Williamson was forced to leave the highly anticipated game against North Carolina after injuring his knee on the first possession:

He was unable to return with what was later ruled to be a sprained knee. Duke announced on Thursday that his status moving forward would be day-to-day.

The forward also missed the entire second half against Florida State after getting poked in the eye but was able to return the next game.

When healthy, Williamson is arguably the most exciting player in the country and near unstoppable on either end of the court. He entered the year with loads of hype and has exceeded expectations with averages of 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

He is capable of huge dunks while his strength and athleticism allow him to dominate in all other phases of the game.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Williamson to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

His impact also shows what Duke will be missing while the freshman is on the bench. Even with talented players like RJ Barrett and Cameron Reddish capable of picking up the scoring, there is no way to replace everything Williamson did on the court.

This could represent a significant setback for a team hoping to bring home an NCAA title.    

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