Craft should be back soon

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Last updated: 07/02/2012 12:10 PM

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Men's Basketball
Craft Should Resume Basketball Activities Soon

By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft should be running again soon—possibly as early as next week—following surgery on his ankle.

Aaron Craft
Photo by Jim Davidson
Aaron Craft

As first reported by The Lantern on Saturday, Craft recently underwent offseason surgery to have a bone spur removed from his left ankle. He is currently in a cast and requires the use of crutches to help him walk after surgery.

According to an Ohio State spokesperson, the injury will not keep Craft out long, however, as he could return to running and basketball activity as early as next week.

Craft helped the Buckeyes reach their first Final Four since the 2006-07 season this past year despite a lingering ankle injury which, at times, caused him “excruciating pain” when it was twisted a certain way during games.

“When it gets hit, or it turns a certain way, there’s some excruciating pain involved,” OSU head coach Thad Matta said before the start of the Big Ten Tournament.

“But he kind of plays his way (through it and) it goes away. I don’t know how much it’s affected him. He wouldn’t tell me if it did.”

There were occasions—even during the tournament—when Craft came up limping on the ankle after making a play on the defensive end of the floor. It didn’t stop the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year from completely shutting down Michigan point guard Trey Burke in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Less than 24 hours after Burke set a school and Big Ten Tournament freshman record with a 30-point showing in a quarterfinal win against Minnesota, the Wolverines’ star freshman was held to the worst game of his collegiate career.

With Craft hounding him up and down the court, Burke went 1-for-11 from the floor, 0-for-7 from 3-point range and committed a career-high eight turnovers in a 77-55 beat-down at the hands of the Buckeyes.

Craft would go on to average 10.4 points, 5.2 assists and 3.2 steals in five NCAA Tournament games, including a breakout performance of 17 points, 10 assists and three steals against Gonzaga in the second round.

He was 15-of-32 from the floor and 4-of-11 behind the arc in the tournament, including 2-of-3 from long-distance during Ohio State’s 64-62 loss to Kansas in the Final Four round.

While he has not been able to participate in basketball activities with his teammates on the court this summer, Craft has been able to continue limited workouts despite the cast on his foot.

“He can do all upper-body lifting & several modified lower-body lifting exercises,” OSU spokesperson Dan Wallenberg told The Lantern.

Craft and the Buckeyes are slated to begin practice in October with the 2012-13 season set to open in early November. It was recently announced the Buckeyes would be one of eight teams participating in the 2012 Hall Of Fame Tip-Off.

They will open the season on Nov. 9 in Columbus against the University of Albany before traveling to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. for a game against Rhode Island on Nov. 17.

Craft is one of three starters returning from last season, along with Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. Ohio State will need his help to replace the losses of senior William Buford and star sophomore Jared Sullinger.

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