A key part of Michigan’s NCAA tournament run last year was their front court presence, which was maintained by star center Mitch McGary. After Michigan became the national runner-up, McGary’s draft stock rose, but he elected to stay with Michigan for at least another season, and was named a Preseason All-American. Unfortunately, Michigan released a statement today stating that McGary has opted to undergo back surgery, and will be out indefinitely.
In the statement released by Michigan Athletics, McGary stated:
My back problems have been a daily challenge ever since late August. We have worked hard rehabbing the injury and I thought that everything was proceeding in the right direction until the last two weeks. I have consulted with my family, my coaches and our doctors and decided the best option now is to have surgery. This was a difficult decision to make because I want to be out there with my teammates. At the same time, I need to be healthy to give everything I can on the court and help my team.
Michigan’s head coach John Beilein also commented on the news, saying:
We want Mitch to be 100 percent healthy again. He has worked very hard over the last few months and during his earlier rehab. He was making progress in practice and games; however, lately he began to experience the same pain he had when we held him out of preseason practice this fall. Our first priority is Mitch’s overall health even though I am certain he would rather be back on the court right now.
John Beilein says Mitch McGary’s indefinite absence could last entire season. McGary has not undergone surgery. Potentially coming next week
— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) December 27, 2013
This is certainly going to hurt McGary’s draft stock and Michigan as a team, but the important thing is McGary’s health, which he will hopefully gain back. Now, he hasn’t shined statistically, averaging 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game and the Wolverines have proven this season that they can win without him (he’s already missed 3 games), but it will be a bit of a challenge winning without him once Big Ten play starts, as he is their key big man.