Malik Williams was playing the best basketball of his career when he suffered an ankle injury three minutes into Louisville’s game at Florida State on Feb. 24.
11 days later, it sounds like Williams has made progress, but his status for Saturday’s game at Virginia still remains unknown.
“He’s doing great,”Chris Mack said on “Inside the Cards,” with Kent Taylor of WAVE3. “It’s going to be a game time decision, but he’s come a long way since he twisted it at Florida State. It was a grapefruit the next day after we played and so he’s gotten the swelling out, the pain has gone down dramatically. We’re gonna make the best decision that we can. We want him for the short term, but we’ve got to be smart too, the long term is the most important thing. We’ll see how he feels come game time.”
That update was more encouraging than the one assistant coach Dino Gaudio gave on Thursday afternoon.
“How should I say this? Doubtful,” Gaudio said as a guest on The V Show with Bob Valvano. “We’re going to be cautious with him, as badly as we want to win an ACC championship. Hopefully we do at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday. We know long term with the aspirations we have and the goals we have for this team, we want to make sure he’s healthy and ready for the long run.”
If I was a betting man I’d say Williams will not play on Saturday at Virginia, but I hope I’m wrong.
Having Malik would be great in a meaningful game with the ACC regular season title on the line, but getting him back when it’s win or go home is more important.
Prior to the injury, Williams had totaled 31 points and 22 rebounds in the two games as the starting center. He’d averaged 13.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in the Cards six games prior to Florida State.<