This story was updated Thursday at 3 p.m. to include head coach Mike Krzyzewski's comments as published by The Athletic.
With Cam Reddish already sidelined by illness, Duke lost another piece of its star-studded freshman foursome Monday.
Starting point guard Tre Jones collided with Frank Howard in the opening minutes of the top-ranked Blue Devils' 95-91 overtime loss to Syracuse, sending him to the locker room with what was initially diagnosed as a right shoulder sprain. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterwards that both Jones' shoulder and collarbone showed no signs of a break, but added that Jones was "in a lot of pain" and didn't specify a return to action for the freshman.
Later Monday night, Duke officially announced in a statement that Jones' injury is an AC joint separation. Jones will be out "indefinitely" and the Steadman Clinic lists a wide range for recovery time, with recovery time taking anywhere from "a few days to 12 weeks, depending on the severity."
But in a story posted by Dana O'Neil of The Athletic Thursday afternoon, Coach K indicated that Jones may return to action sooner than once thought.
“I don’t know if it’s for this game or the next game, but it’s not going to be long term, where it’s a month or something,’’ Coach K told O'Neil, explaining that the injury is a bit more severe than a Grade 1 separation. “He’s going to be back.’’
Leading the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio and one of Duke's most important pieces on defense, Jones has been one of the most important pieces in Duke's dominance thus far. The Apple Valley, Minn. native had averaged 30.8 minutes per game, 5.9 assists per game and 8.5 points per game entering Monday.
In less than 10 minutes against the Orange, Jones had already logged four steals to put the visiting team in an early double-digit hole.
This is a developing story. Check back here for further updates.
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