Williams remains out with knee swelling, no timetable for return
Arizona freshman guard Brandon Williams, the team’s third-leading scorer and leader in assists, will be sidelined this week against Washington and Washington State due to lingering right knee pain.
Swelling and continued pain in his knee kept Williams out of the UA’s 95-88 overtime loss against Arizona State on Thursday. It is the same knee he needed surgery on in high school, which caused him to miss his entire junior season.
“He experienced some soreness coming out of LA,” head coach Sean Miller said after the ASU loss. “I think time will tell.”
Miller said at his weekly news conference today that Williams’ swelling has continued since the ASU game and the smart move is to shelf the freshman until further notice.
“Brandon, before he came to Arizona, had an operation on his knee,” Miller said. “They were able to repair it, and Brandon and his family were really smart, and he missed quite a bit of time. He came to us with that, and we were aware of it. There have been a couple times since he’s been here where we were aware his knee may swell or he has some discomfort, and we shut him down.”
Williams experienced some discomfort earlier in the season, causing him to be limited against Baylor and Montana back in December.
“For the most part, he made it through 20 games and about 70 practices without anything pain related hitting him,” Miller said. “Now its his best interest just to make sure that we know everything that is going on and that we allow that pain to diminish.”
Miller was hopeful Williams could return this season but didn’t know when that could potentially be.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed for him that he’ll be okay.” he said.
The injury is especially painful, considering Williams was coming off of what Miller described as is “best overall game at Arizona” against UCLA, scoring 19 points and connecting on four of eight 3s.
As for the Wildcats, the team will have to rely more on the scoring punch of Justin Coleman in Williams' absence. Coleman pitched in with 19 points against ASU, and his 14 attempts were the most he had in a game all season.
The injury also allows Arizona to shift Dylan Smith back to a more natural position amongst the guards, with an injury to Chase Jeter and Emmanuel Akot's transfer causing Smith to have to play more in the front court.
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