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KU's Udoka Azubuike suffers season-ending hand injury

10 January 2019

Kansas junior Udoka Azubuike needs surgery to fix a torn ligament in his right hand and will miss the remainder of this college basketball season, coach Bill Self announced Sunday night.

Self said Azubuike will resume basketball activities in the summer.

Azubuike has a torn ligament in his hand after suffering a wrist injury during practice on Friday.

Kansas junior center Udoka Azubuike will miss the rest of the 2018-19 season due to surgery required to fix ligament damage in his right hand.

Azubuike was held out of Kansas' 77-60 loss to Iowa State on Saturday because of the injury.

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Azubuike has played in nine games this season for the Jayhawks, averaging 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds. He prefers to run with two big men but has leaned on four-guard lineups the past couple of seasons because of the configuration of his roster.

The difference between those teams and this team, however, is that Self's recent small-look lineups have been full of dead-eye shooters, while 3-point shooting has been a bit of a weakness with the 2018-19 team thus far. The Jayhawks are 12-2 on the season. Self on December 17 said there was no update or movement on De Sousa's status from the NCAA despite the end of the first semester. Frontcourt depth was considered a strength for the Jayhawks entering the season, but with Azubuike sidelined and sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa still indefinitely withheld pending an NCAA investigation into potential illicit payments distributed during his recruitment, the team is down to just Lawson, junior forward Mitch Lightfoot and freshman forward David McCormack, the latter two sparingly used to this point in the season.

The 7-foot Nigeria native has averaged just over 20 minutes per game.

Whether that sticks when Kansas returns to the floor against TCU on Wednesday night remains to be seen.