Ohio State will be without one of its senior captains when it takes on Indianapolis in Monday’s season-opening exhibition.
Fifth-year forward Kyle Young has been diagnosed with a vestibular dysfunction, which is defined by the National Center for Biotechnology Information as “a disturbance in the body's balance system due to peripheral or central causes,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said Friday.
“We don’t see this as a long-term injury,” Holtmann said. “We also don’t have a specific timeline right now for him to return. He has been out for a little bit here with that condition.”
Young received the diagnosis a week-and-a-half ago, Holtmann said, but the issue had been bothering him for some time before that.
“Kyle had a really good summer. I thought he played some of the best that I’d seen him this summer,” Holtmann said. “It might have bothered him, but he didn’t really notice it bothering him significantly until later in the summer, really in the fall. He had a really good summer, so it’s not really been up until recently that we had a chance to look at some different lineups.”
Holtmann said he doesn’t believe the issue stems from anything related to basketball.
Young missed the final three games of the 2020-21 season due a concussion, and has dealt with injury issues for much of his college career. In 2019-20, Young missed time due to appendicitis, and also with a high ankle sprain. As a sophomore in 2018-19, Young suffered a stress fracture in his right leg that kept him out of several games.
“He’s had about everything that could come a kid’s way here in five years, for sure,” Holtmann said.
Holtmann said Young’s mood has been positive since finding out that the issue may not keep him out for long.
“He’s in good spirits now that it’s been diagnosed and that he’s showing improvement,” Holtmann said. “It was really hard for him when he was wondering. And he was still able to do some things, but they shut him down once they realized that this was it. Now that he’s on some meds and showing improvement, he’s in really good spirits.”
Holtmann gave an update on another injured Buckeye forward Friday, revealing that sixth-year senior Seth Towns is still on pace for a December return after undergoing a procedure on a herniated disc in his back in September.
“Seth Towns is just now beginning to return to some conditioning activity, literally today actually. We anticipate that he is on track,” Holtmann said. “At one point he will return, too early to tell. I think I’ve said some time in December, mid to late. But could it be later than that, could it be around that time, that’s all possible.”
With two power forwards unavailable for the start of the season, Holtmann said the Buckeye staff is exploring a number of possibilities to replace the minutes that Young and Towns might otherwise occupy.
“We’re looking at a couple different options with he and Seth out,” Holtmann said. “Obviously E.J. will log a significant amount of minutes at that position, but you could also see a multitude of guys, whether it’s Gene Brown, Justin Ahrens, Justice Sueing – a number of those guys.”
The Buckeyes tip off against Indianapolis on 7 p.m. at home on Monday, before the season officially begins against Akron the following week.