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Michigan takes wait-and-see approach on Livers’ ankle injury

February 7, 2018

Rosemont, Ill. — Michigan’s starting lineup has been able to dodge any crippling, long-term injuries this season.

The Wolverines are hoping freshman forward Isaiah Livers won’t become the first victim.

Livers exited Tuesday’s 61-52 loss at Northwestern two minutes into the game after falling hard under the basket following a transition layup and landing awkwardly on his left ankle.

Michigan coach John Beilein didn’t have enough information to give an official prognosis but said the early thought is that Livers suffered an ankle sprain.

“I don’t know enough about it,” said Beilein, who was unsure if Livers had an X-ray taken following the game. “What we did at halftime, we said go out —because it would stiffen up on you — we said go out and try and see. If you can go, go. If you got a lot of pain, don’t go. He told us he couldn’t go, so that’s all we know right now.

“The fact that he wanted to go out and try it again means it’s not a break or anything like that.”

After Livers’ layup gave Michigan a 4-0 lead with 18:23 left in the first half, he was slow to get up before hobbling back down the floor and was unable to put any considerable weight on his left ankle.

2017-18 MICHIGAN BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

He was quickly replaced by fifth-year senior forward Duncan Robinson and stayed on the bench for a few minutes before heading back to the locker room for further evaluation.

Following the halftime break, Livers tested his ankle by moving around and shooting during warm-ups but it hampered his movement and he never returned to action.

“He tried in the second half to go out there and play and he could not play,” Beilein said. “It certainly affected us a little bit but it’s not the reason we lost the game.”

Robinson tied a season-high with 36 minutes in Livers’ absence and finished with three points (1-for-6 shooting), six rebounds and two assists.

More:UM’s Livers draws attention, looks to get aggressive

While Beilein said Livers’ injury doesn’t appear to be season-ending, Michigan will take a wait-and-see approach before determining his availability for Sunday’s game at Wisconsin.

“He gives us a lot energy,” said junior center Moritz Wagner, who missed three games earlier this season with an ankle sprain. “He gives us great defensive effort, versatility and is a great shooter. We don’t like seeing people go down early, especially on this team. I think Duncan did a great job though. We adjust to adversity and I think that shouldn’t be an excuse.”

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

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