Ohio State will be without its starting point guard for an unknown period of time.
Fifth-year senior CJ Walker has been ruled out indefinitely with torn ligaments in his right hand, the program announced on Thursday.
“CJ has battled this hand injury since our first preseason scrimmage and as the pain and discomfort has increased it became clear to him and our medical staff that he needed to rest and rehab in hopes his hand will heal,” head coach Chris Holtmann said in a statement. “His leadership and toughness in battling this through 11 games has been really impressive. Obviously he is very important to our team but I’m most disappointed for CJ because I know how much work he put in during the offseason. CJ will closely remain with our team while he rests and rehabs his hand.”
Holtmann recently mentioned Walker has been dealing with a hand injury that has hindered him more than he has previously let on. He's averaging 8.7 points, 4.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game, but he's shooting just 30.1 percent from the floor and 20 percent from 3-point range.
No longer having Walker available puts Holtmann and his coaching staff in a bit of a bind given the amount of minutes the starting lead guard has played. Duane Washington Jr. will remain a starting guard, and he'll likely have increased duties as a ball-handler. Jimmy Sotos, who's averaging 1.3 points in 7.9 minutes per game, will be counted on for more minutes. The debut of mid-year enrollee Meechie Johnson could be coming in the near future, too.
Ohio State returns to action on Saturday with a road game against Rutgers.