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Marques Bolden's Knee Injury Diagnosed as MCL Sprain After Leaving Duke vs. UNC

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 09: Marques Bolden #20 of the Duke Blue Devils is helped off the floor by teammates after an injury during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Dean Smith Center on March 09, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke Blue Devils center Marques Bolden suffered a knee injury just two-and-a-half minutes into a Saturday showdown with the North Carolina Tar Heels and had to be helped to the locker room at the Dean E. Smith Center.

Marilyn Payne @marilyn_payne

Marques Bolden down after aggressive D on layup. goes to a fetal position on his right side under basket in front of Duke’s bench initially .. rolls to back holding what looks like lower limb. Is helped up and slowly, gingerly makes his way back to #Duke’s locker room with help. https://t.co/KEQylCGAl1

Bolden was hurt as he contested a Garrison Brooks layup attempt near the rim. After he dropped to the court in a scary fall, the 6'11", 250-pound center immediately grabbed his left knee and stayed down for a few moments as coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke medical staff examined him.

Bolden did not return to the game, a 79-70 North Carolina victory. Krzyzewski announced afterward that the big man had been diagnosed with an MCL sprain, according to CBSSports.com' Reid Forgrave.

Losing Bolden would be a blow to Coach K's rotation. Duke is already without star forward Zion Williamson, who has been out since he suffered a knee sprain in the opening minute of the Blue Devils' first meeting against the Tar Heels on Feb. 20.

Bolden is averaging 6.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game, and he's played well in Williamson's absence. Over the past four contests, Bolden has averaged 9.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.

That's helped the Blue Devils go 3-1 without the potential National Player of the Year.

This is just the latest adversity the junior has dealt with. He missed the first eight games of his freshman season because of a foot injury and missed the 2017 NCAA tournament with an illness. Last season, he missed seven games with a knee injury.

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops

Duke big man Marques Bolden is down clutching his knee. After all this poor kid has gone though over the course of his career, this would be terrible.

Bolden was named to the preseason Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award watch list.

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