Illinois' Rayvonte Rice dunks the ball against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Jan 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
Paul Vernon
January 06, 2015

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice is out indefinitely after fracturing his left hand in practice.

The 6-foot-4 senior suffered the injury during practice Monday, coach John Groce said. He will undergo surgery Wednesday and no timetable has been set for his return.

Rice also suffered a groin injury early in the Big Ten season last year. He didn't miss any games, but his performance was affected.

''If anyone doesn't deserve this, it's him,'' Groce said.

Rice leads the Illini in scoring (17.2 points per game) and rebounding (6.9). He had 20 points of 7-of-8 shooting in Saturday's 77-61 loss at Ohio State for the Illini (10-5, 0-2 Big Ten).

Groce said the injury hasn't led him to consider lifting the redshirt of freshman Michael Finke.

''Next man up,'' Groce said. ''We've got to figure it out.''

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1DgtTBs) surgery could sideline Rice for as long as six weeks, or until about Feb. 17. That period includes 11 games, including Wednesday's Big Ten home opener against No. 11 Maryland.

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