INDIANAPOLIS, IN—Despite a dominant victory over Central Connecticut State Saturday night, the mood was relatively somber during the IU post-game press conference. Despite a great all-around performance, players like Christian Watford's thoughts were with injured sophomore Austin Etherington.
"It was a very tough moment. When you have a guy whos been through a lot with the program, its tough. Hes a teammate, but hes also a friend of mine, so its always tough seeing a comrade go down like that."
Sunday morning the Hamilton Heights product underwent surgery in Indianapolis to repair a fractured patella he suffered in his left leg. Indiana University spokesman J.D. Campbell confirmed the news and released a statement from IU head coach Tom Crean:
"Anytime you lose a valued member of your program it not only hurts the team, but also everyones hearts. Austin has been doing an excellent job improving and now we have to help him overcome this setback and move forward. Our players have experience in this area and everyone is looking forward to helping him recover. As serious as his injury was, we are thankful that it was not worse. We have such an outstanding medical team I could not imagine going through something like this without them. We are fortunate to have them."
Etherington is out for the remainder of this season. He would be eligible to apply for a medical redshirt and would have three remaining seasons of eligibility left. Indiana (9-0) plays Butler Saturday in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.