Clemson redshirt freshman forward Jaron Blossomgame won't play Sunday against Illinois for the early morning tip (11 a.m., ESPN).
He likely won't play in a potential Tuesday NIT quarterfinal either in Clemson, but after an awkward landing on a leg he's already broken and had multiple surgeries on - Blossomgame and the Tigers are counting their blessings for the coming seasons.
Blossomgame talks leg injury
Friday afternoon, Blossomgame arrived to a media session on crutches, but able to walk and you could hardly tell he had received quite the injury scare.
"I fell and saw my leg behind me," Blossomgame said. "It was a real awkward fall, but I feel like it looked worse than it actually was."
"The first night I was a little worried before I went to sleep. Then I got up and went through the process and each day it’s been feeling better and better and better so I’m not really worried about it."
The diagnosis was a "small hairline fracture," above on the shin where he broke his leg two years ago and had another surgery on last offseason.
"He’s fine right now," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "He understands that the good news is there’s nothing major wrong with it. It’s another little setback. He’s had plenty of those. He’s clearly a young man that his glass is half-full. He’s an optimistic young man who’s always in good spirits…It really helps him in these situations."
The Alpharetta, Ga. native has averaged 5.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in conference action, playing 24.6 minutes per game.
The 6-7 forward's versatility will be missed facing the four-guard attack of Illinois and beyond with advancement in a spot where Clemson's pretty thin.
Outside of K.J. McDaniels and Landry Nnoko, no other Tiger big man is averaging more than 11 minutes a game (Josh Smith, 10.5 the most, 1.7 PPG).
"We certainly wish he could play and would love to have him," said Brownell. "But what’s most important is he’s healthy and ready to have a productive offseason and take the next step. If they say he can play in a week and a half, we’ll take a look. If not, we’ll shut him down and rest him up to start workouts.
"He’s done a good job and had a good freshman season."