Missouri’s Wes Clark is out for the season, coach Kim Anderson confirmed Thursday during his weekly news conference.
Clark, a sophomore point guard from Detroit, suffered a dislocated right elbow during Tuesday’s 65-60 loss at South Carolina.
“He’s done for the year …” Anderson said. “We did the X-ray and we did the MRI. Everything’s good. It’s just going to take six to eight weeks to heal.”
Anderson expects Clark to make a full recovery and said the injury won’t require surgery. He also said that Clark will continue to travel with the team if he feels up to it physically.
“The people at South Carolina were unbelievable,” Anderson said.
Gamecocks athletic trainer Mark Rodger was the first to reach Clark’s side and team doctor Chris Mazoue popped the elbow back into place on the court.
Clark was the Tigers’ leading scorer in SEC play at 11.7 points per game and the second-leading scorer overall this season at 10.1 points.
He averaged 4.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a freshman last season, but had emerged as a leader for Missouri in Anderson’s first season.
His production has increased across the board.
Clark was averaging 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists this season and also raised his steals average from 0.8 to 1.7 per game.
Despite playing an additional 10-plus minutes per game this season, Clark’s turnovers numbers hadn’t spiked dramatically, increasing from 1.6 to 2.0 per game.
“He’s really emerged as a guy who has kind of been our leader, especially on the floor,” Anderson said. “He’s played with a great deal of determination and effort, and I think he’s improved. So, I felt bad for Wes, and certainly it affects our team.”
With the recent spate of suspensions, Missouri already has been shorthanded in the backcourt.
It’s unclear if any of the suspended freshmen guards — Tramaine Isabell, Montaque Gill-Caesar and Namon Wright — will be available Saturday against Mississippi State.
“We’ll know something about (Gill-Caesar and Wright) by Saturday,” Anderson said. “Tramaine’s actually been ill. I had a chance to visit with him a little bit (Wednesday) and we’re going to visit again (Friday). Whether or not they play will kind of be dependent upon our visit.”
Expect senior Keith Shamburger to continue logging major minutes and, if none of the suspended players are reinstated, for junior guard Deuce Bello to help with ball-handling.
Anderson responds to Haith’s comment
When asked about Frank Haith’s comment that he had “the personnel to win 20-plus games this season at Missouri,” Anderson said it’s impossible to know if he’s right.
“I think it’s a hypothetical statement,” Anderson said. “He’s not here anymore. He left and went to Tulsa, so it would be like me sitting up here today and saying, ‘Well, if I were at Central Missouri, we’d win the national championship again.’ I’m not at Central Missouri, so we’re never going to know the answer to that question and we’re never going to know the answer to his statement either.”
Anderson said he had not read the article, which appeared in USA Today, but he’d been told that it was about Haith and his sister, who had a stroke in December.
“I certainly hope that she’s OK,” Anderson said. “Obviously, my thoughts go with him in regards to that.”
He also praised the job Haith has done at Tulsa and said he’s appreciated the support from coaches like Mississippi State’s Rick Ray and South Carolina’s Frank Martin, who’ve been in situations similar to Missouri’s this season.