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The second-ranked Duke Blue Devils were cautiously optimistic after hearing an update on center Carlos Boozer's foot injury Wednesday.
Boozer, a 6-foot-9, 270-pound sophomore from Juneau, broke the third metatarsal bone in his right foot during Tuesday's 91-80 loss to No. 16 Maryland. Initially, the Blue Devils worried Boozer might be done for the season. But after an examination Wednesday, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn't quite so pessimistic.
"We're optimistic that Carlos can return for the NCAA tournament," Krzyzewski said in a press release from the school.
Boozer, who was fitted with a special walking boot Wednesday, will definitely miss Sunday's game against No. 4 North Carolina. Boozer will also miss the the ACC Tournament held March 8-11 in Atlanta. Krzyzewski said Boozer's playing status will be reevaluated after the ACC Tournament ends.
This season, Boozer averaged 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds a game. His .609 field goal percentage ranks second all-time at Duke behind only Elton Brand's .612. Before his freshman season Boozer broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, but that injury required surgery to insert a pin in his foot. Boozer was able to return in time to start the season, but he didn't round into top form until the middle of the year.
Duke trainer Dave Englehart told the Raleigh News and Observer that Boozer won't be idle during this injury. "We're trying to help him get over the initial symptoms and have him do upper-body lifting," Engelhart said.