COLUMBIA — An MRI revealed Wednesday that Missouri senior forward Laurence Bowers has suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee, and that there was no damage to the ACL or bone in that knee.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Bowers, MU’s leading scorer at 16.8 points per game, is expected to miss the Tigers’ game against Ole Miss on Saturday and against Georgia on Wednesday. Bowers, who will be reevaluated next week, suffered the injury during the second half of MU’s 84-68 win over Alabama on Tuesday when he collided with junior point guard Phil Pressey.
After sitting out all of last season with an injury to his left knee, Bowers has proved to be Missouri’s most consistent player and a possible Southeastern Conference player of the year candidate. He’s also averaging 6.9 rebounds per game and is a team co-captain along with Pressey. Together, they have led Missouri to a 12-2 overall record.
However, Missouri will now try to improve to 2-0 in the conference Saturday without Bowers, and someone will have to pick up the slack. Junior guard Earnest Ross, a solid rebounder, could see more time at the four spot while Bowers and junior forward Tony Criswell – who has missed the last three games with a broken finger – heal up.
It’s unclear when Criswell will return – Haith said Monday that he hopes to have him back within a week or two – but Ross played 35 minutes against Alabama on Tuesday, scoring 19 points to go with five rebounds.
Additional responsibility could also fall on freshmen big men Stefan Jankovic and Ryan Rosburg, both of whom have logged some playing time this season. Jankovic is averaging 4.1 points and two rebounds in 10 minutes per game, while Rosburg is averaging 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game.