‘Day to day’: Dosunmu Makes Trip to Rutgers While Playing Status Unknown

Matthew Stevens

Ayo Dosunmu will travel with the rest of the Illinois team Friday but his status to play at Rutgers Saturday afternoon is still very much in doubt.

The playing status for the Illini’s leading scorer is unknown after Illinois head coach Brad Underwood says Dosunmu is categorized as “day to day” following the injury Tuesday night in the loss to Michigan State.

“His status will literally be day to day as long as there is no injury, it’s day to day,” Underwood said. “His main recourse is rehab and massage and (Illinois strength and conditioning coach Adam Fletcher) and (Illinois athletics trainer) Paul Schmidt and so we’ll deal with that as we get closer to game time.”

After being asked if Dosunmu has been able to practice this week, Underwood initially said “no” but then clarified that the 6-foot-5 guard has been able to do some physical things but hasn’t gone through a full practice session with the rest of the Illini squad.

“I shouldn’t say that,” Underwood said referring to his immediate ‘no’ answer on if Dosunmu has been able to practice. “He’s done some work.”

Following the go-ahead offensive putback by Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman to give the Spartans its final lead, Dosunmu began to drive down the sideline near the Illinois bench before slipping and appearing to immediately grab at his left knee. The sophomore guard lost the ball in the final seconds and stayed down on the floor for several seconds after the buzzer sounded before being helped off the floor and into the Illinois locker room by members of the Illinois training staff.

University athletics officials released a statement Wednesday following the results of Dosunmu’s MRI scan results. The university release confirms the sophomore guard’s medical scan showed no structural damage to the left leg he injured at the end of the 70-69 loss to Michigan State Tuesday night.

"What happened with Ayo last night is as difficult a situation as you'll see a young man go through, and a feeling where the outcome of the game goes from primary to secondary in a split second," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said in the university release. "We received positive news today from the MRI scan. Our medical staff will work with him around the clock on treatment and recovery. Ayo and his family have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from Illini Nation and college basketball fans everywhere."

The exact nature of Dosunmu's injury to his left leg has still yet to be revealed. Dosunmu released a message on Twitter thanking the fans for the support following Tuesday night's loss.

Dosunmu, who leads the Illini in scoring at 15.8 points per game, finished Tuesday night's game with a team-high 17 points where he connected on 7 of 17 field goals and grabbed nine rebounds in 37 minutes.

Illinois (16-8, 8-5 in Big Ten) will now take its three-game losing streak on the road to try to end Rutgers’ undefeated streak at home on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. CST tip and then face a surging No. 13 Penn State squad in State College on Feb. 18.

“We’ve played without (Dosunmu) before and that’s all part of the game of basketball, dealing with guys that can’t go,” Underwood said. “We’ll see how that goes (Saturday) as he moves forward.” 

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