Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo issued the astounding and unfortunate news that his star point guard, Keith Appling, could be sidelined for the rest of the season with a wrist injury. However, there is a small silver lining for Michigan State fans.
RETRACTION: When Izzo said “shut him down shut him down” he just meant for rest of REGULAR season.
— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) February 17, 2014
Well, that’s good… I suppose.
Appling returned from a 3-game absence with a 19-minute effort in MSU’s loss to Nebraska on Sunday, but he was a shell of himself, and Izzo’s reference to “shutting him down” could be in the best interest of the team. The Spartans are clearly a different (read: better) team with Appling in the lineup, but if he is greatly limited like he seemed to be on Sunday, that doesn’t do Izzo or the team any good on either end of the floor.
With Appling and Adreian Payne in the lineup, many believed that Michigan State was the best team in the country earlier in the season, but with the injuries mounting, the Spartans have slipped a bit from that lofty perch. It is undeniably good for the team and the product overall that Appling will likely return by tournament time, but it’s time to worry in East Lansing.