Zed Key Will Have "A Decision Between He And His Family" About What Comes Next After Re-Aggravating Shoulder Injury

By Griffin Strom on February 20, 2023 at 1:29 pm
Zed Key
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch

Zed Key's health status for the remainder of the 2022-23 season appears to be in question.

The Buckeye center re-aggravated a shoulder injury he's dealt with for much of the year in Thursday's loss at Iowa, and subsequently missed Sunday's matchup with Purdue. Chris Holtmann said last week that the Ohio State medical staff believed the injury could be managed until the end of the season, but the latest tweak may have changed that outlook.

"I don't have any additional news from yesterday. He's being evaluated, probably as we speak and we'll know more at that point," Holtmann said on 97.1 The Fan Monday. "At some point it'll be a decision between he and his family in terms of what's the next direction to go in."

Holtmann said last week that doctors would determine after the season whether or not surgery would be required to mend Key's shoulder. As for the immediate future, freshman center Felix Okpara started in place of the junior big man on Sunday, and figures to continue to do so moving forward if Key is sidelined.

Key is Ohio State's third-leading scorer (10.8 points per game) and top rebounder (7.5) on the season. Okpara is averaging 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game as a true freshman.

"Zed's injury was significant," Holtmann said. "He was a guy, we might have even talked in the preseason where we said we're gonna be much deeper next year at the five. This year we were gonna be a little bit thin, so it was gonna be hard if we lost any one of those guys for a significant period of time. I think what that does is gonna continue to provide opportunities for Felix to grow."

Ohio State has four games remaining in the regular season, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. matchup against Penn State at the Schottenstein Center Thursday. The Big Ten Tournament begins March 8 in Chicago.

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