CHARLOTTE—At 3:48 p.m. Tuesday, former Virginia Tech head coach and current ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg tweeted a message that shook Duke's fan base to its core.

Soon afterward, the rumors and speculation started swirling. Could it be possible that the Blue Devils' two most talented freshmen—perhaps their most talented players overall—and two projected top-five NBA Draft picks could have suffered significant injuries before exhibition play?

Tuesday's practice was not just any other practice for the Blue Devils—it was their second of two October sessions with NBA scouts in the building to evaluate Duke's players and featured a lengthy scrimmage with ACC officials. Shortly after Greenberg's tweet, his ESPN colleague Jeff Goodman reported that scouts were impressed with Tatum before the injury late in the scrimmage, adding that its severity was still unclear.

The uncertainty grew as Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning arrived, with further local and national reports that Tatum sustained an injury and was being evaluated. The situation was further complicated with the ACC's annual Operation Basketball media event on tap for Wednesday in Charlotte, as head coach Mike Krzyzewski, graduate student Amile Jefferson and senior Matt Jones were slated for a full day of interviews.

In the morning, Krzyzewski went on "SportsCenter" and "ESPN First Take," noting that the team was hopeful that the injury wasn't serious and that there would be an update later Wednesday. Jones and Jefferson echoed that message when they met with the media in Charlotte.

Both players said they did not see the play, adding that they were optimistic because Tatum did not seem to be in much pain but noting that they too were still waiting for further information.

Lunchtime came and went, and there was still no update.

Finally, when Krzyzewski met with the media in Charlotte at 2 p.m., the team clarified the situation with a release saying that Tatum suffered a left foot sprain and is expected to be out for two weeks.

The details of how the 6-foot-8 swingman went down were not clarified, but Krzyzewski said Tatum could come back even earlier, though he will likely miss both of the Blue Devils' exhibition games before their season opener Nov. 11 against Marist.

"We were just scrimmaging. No one incident... Those things happen. Sometimes a guy pulls something," Krzyzewski said. "It doesn't have to be going up for a shot or anything. All of a sudden, it just happened."

Duke fans let out a collective sigh of relief as word spread that Tatum's injury is not serious, marking the end to their most recent episode dealing with the highs and lows of high-profile injury news.

From Amile Jefferson's 2015-16 foot drama to No. 1 recruit Harry Giles' recent knee setbacks, the Blue Devil coaches and players have gotten familiar with watching players go down and trying to bring them back into the fold.

Still no timetable for Giles

Although Tatum's foot sprain might seem like a major obstacle this close to the regular season, Krzyzewski pointed out that the St. Louis native's predicament is much more manageable than Giles'. After tearing his right ACL in November 2015, Giles was recovering throughout the summer at Duke and had started some 5-on-0 work running plays with his teammates in September.

But the Winston Salem, N.C., native had his left knee scoped to clean up scar tissue—he previously tore his left ACL also—Oct. 3. The approximate recovery from the procedure is supposed to be six weeks, but more than halfway through that period, Krzyzewski did not have a timetable on the star freshman's return to playing with the team.

While Tatum has starred for the Blue Devils in practice and at Countdown to Craziness—scoring a scrimmage-high 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting—Giles has been unable to get his college career off the ground. Krzyzewski said he has been working out without contact, adding the next step will be to get back to 5-on-0 drills.

"When someone says, 'When will Harry come back?' Harry has never been. He's not coming back, he's got to be," Krzyzewski said. "Jayson will be out for a little bit. He'll be coming back, and he has a body of work that he's already done even though it's been in practice. We have to develop that body of work for Harry over a period of time. This will be a more a gradual practice. When Jayson comes back, I would hope boom, he can hit the ground running."

Staying in good spirits

The Blue Devils have heard the phrase "no timetable" a lot recently, as Jefferson was sidelined last December after suffering a fracture in his right foot. The team captain was expected to come back in February, but as his return date got closer, the Philadelphia native did not consistently feel healthy enough to return to action.

"It just never got to a point where I was confident enough where I could be out there and not be a shell of myself," Jefferson said at Duke's media day earlier this month.

Although he is much less experienced than Jefferson, Giles is now in a similar position to start his college career.

But Krzyzewski said the McDonald's All-American has had no trouble supporting his teammates, including during Tuesday's scrimmage periods that saw sophomore Luke Kennard pour in 44 points with different lineup combinations and several of Giles' teammates impress scouts.

"Harry is so supportive of his teammates. They love Harry, not like him, they love him and want him to blend in," Krzyzewski said. "It's not like, 'Oh man, Harry is coming back.' It's like, 'When are we going to get Harry?'"

Giles could not participate during Countdown to Craziness other than showing off a few dance moves during player introductions, but the versatile 6-foot-10 big man still looked to be all smiles.

According to Kennard, that should be no surprise—the sophomore said at Duke's media day Giles is one of the funniest players the Blue Devils have.

"We never have to pick him up because he’s always such an upbeat guy," Kennard said. "He’s always trying to be a guy that is building confidence in other guys. Even though he’s not in, he’s always engaged."

Like Jefferson, senior captain Matt Jones is also familiar with both the impact players can have from the bench and the potential for unheralded role players to step into prominent positions when holes in the lineup open up. Jones struggled with his own health for much of last season, but he led the Blue Devils in scoring in their Elite Eight win against Gonzaga and played lockdown perimeter defense to help Duke capture its fifth national championship in 2014-15.

After watching Jefferson go down last season, Jones said Wednesday that the team's captains are doing everything they can to prepare the rest of the team to find their own roles as the season unfolds—regardless of who is on the court.

"I know all too well how injuries can derail a season, so when Coach says don’t take it for granted, we try to hone that message in to the freshmen, knowing that any given day, any given practice, any given game, somebody can go down," Jones said. "You have to figure out what’s next. It’s all about perspective. We’ve been through it. For us to make sure that they know it can happen is best for us."

Brian Pollack contributed reporting.