Add another player to the list of summer injury casualties for Kansas basketball. Freshman forward Carlton Bragg suffered a broken nose during practice at the World University Games in South Korea, KU coach Bill Self announced late Tuesday night.
The injury occurred during practice Wednesday morning in Gwangju, South Korea, where the Jayhawks are preparing to open pool play against Turkey at 10 p.m. (Central Time) Friday. (Gwangju is 14 hours ahead of Lawrence.) In a statement, Self said he was not sure how long Bragg would be sidelined.
“We’ll see how long he will be out of pocket,” Self said. “Hopefully he won’t miss very much. A turned ankle is actually a worse injury than a broken nose. Although the broken nose hurts bad, and there were no concussion symptoms, it’s one that you can come back.’
Self said the Kansas training staff would attempt to procure a protective mask that Bragg could wear for the tournament, but he was not certain that would be possible. Bragg, a 6-foot-8 forward from Cleveland, averaged five points while playing 13 minutes per game in two exhibition victories over Canada last week.
If Bragg unable to play, the Jayhawks would still have four healthy frontcourt players: Senior forwards Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor and Hunter Mickelson; and junior forward Landen Lucas.
“You just have to play without being nervous getting hit,” Self said. “It would be nice if we could find a mask but I don’t think we will be able to. He can’t hurt it any worse. We’ll wait to have surgery when he gets back to straighten it up. He should be fine.”
The injury to Bragg is the latest hit to a roster that has been plagued by ailments this summer. Sophomore guard Devonte’ Graham was sidelined for the tournament after injurying a quadriceps muscle in mid June, while junior Brannen Greene is missing the tournament while recovering from offseason hip surgery.