FEBRUARY 21, 5:06pm: Williamson sustained a Grade 1 right knee sprain and will be listed as day-to-day moving forward, the school announced. The injury news comes as a sigh of relief for Williamson, who exited the game shortly after suffering the injury on Wednesday.
FEBRUARY 20, 10:30pm: Duke — along with several NBA teams — received a scare when star forward Zion Williamson left tonight’s game with an injury in the opening minute. However, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said the consensus No. 1 pick has been diagnosed with only a mild knee sprain, tweets AP basketball writer Tim Reynolds. He added that doctors found the knee to be stable, and more news is expected Thursday.
“We’re very concerned about Zion,” Krzyzewski said in a tweet sent out by the university. “It’s a mild knee sprain. We will know about length of time tomorrow. It’s stable. Obviously it has an impact. You lose the (National Player of the Year) on the first play.”
Williamson was hurt 36 seconds into a marquee matchup with North Carolina when his left shoe tore open, causing him to lose his balance. He left the court under his own power, but remained in the locker room for the rest of the game.
Several NBA players posted messages of support for Williamson on social media, relays ESPN. LeBron James and Spencer Dinwiddie both said they hoped Williamson would be OK, while Donovan Mitchell made a case that college athletes should be paid in a tweet that was supported by Trae Young.
Puma posted a message blaming the injury on Williamson’s Nike shoes, but later took it down (Twitter link from The Sporting News).