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Nike issues statement in wake of Zion Williamson's shoe implosion, injury

<p>Zion Williamson will return for Duke after missing the team's final six games of the regular season.</p>

Zion Williamson will return for Duke after missing the team's final six games of the regular season.

In the wake of freshman phenom Zion Williamson's injury against North Carolina Wednesday in which his Nike shoe tore to shreds, the shoe company has issued a statement. 

"We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery," Nike wrote, according to Darren Rovell, sports business reporter and senior executive producer for The Action Network. "The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

In the opening seconds of Duke's 88-72 loss to North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Williamson suffered what head coach Mike Krzyzewski later called a "mild knee sprain" after he took a spill. Williamson slipped while dribbling and broke his shoe, grimacing and holding his knee before taking his shoe off and leaving the court. He was forced to go to the locker room and missed the rest of the game. 

Krzyzewski said that Williamson's knee is "stable" and that he is not sure how long Williamson will be out. After the game, freshman R.J. Barrett said that Williamson is "not feeling great."

"I was just talking to him a bit, I hope he’s going to be okay," Barrett said. "We don’t really know where things are right now, but I think he’ll be back."

NBA star LeBron James sent well wishes to Williamson on Twitter. 

Fellow freshman Tre Jones said that he hopes Zion can improve his game from the sidelines if he misses time.  

"Just try and learn as much as he can from the sideline. You’re able to see a different aspect of the game, a different perspective of the game from the sideline when you’re not out there," Jones said. "It also makes you appreciate the game so much more. I’m sure he’s going to be able to figure it out himself."

Michael Model contributed reporting.