Michigan State basketball receives encouraging news about Malik Hall's foot injury

Michigan State basketball receives encouraging news about Malik Hall’s foot injury

EAST LANSING — Tom Izzo’s mood changed in 24 hours. And he had nothing to do with Purdue.

Michigan State’s basketball coach received hope Tuesday morning that forward Malik Hall’s season likely won’t end, even though the schedule for a possible return remains in limbo.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel, we thought the tunnel was closed,” Izzo said Tuesday afternoon before the Spartans’ practice.

“As I told my team in the morning meeting and Malik, at least the door is open. To be honest, the door was closed two days ago. It was closed and the door is open. What that means, I don’t know.”

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Michigan State’s Tyson Walker, right, hugs Malik Hall, left, after Walker’s 3-pointer over the buzzer did not go in after the Spartans’ loss to Purdue on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

Hall will not be available for Thursday’s home game against Rutgers (6:30 pm, FS1). In Friday’s loss at Illinois, the 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward suffered a worsening stress reaction in his left foot that kept him out of eight games in November and December. And he won’t be back for the Spartans’ road trip to Indiana on Sunday.

But after Hall met with his foot specialist during MSU’s equally exciting and dispiriting 64-63 loss to the third-ranked Boilermakers on Monday at the Breslin Center, the overnight forecast after revisions of doctors improved from worst to slightly more encouraging.

“I’ve tried to stay out of the medical aspect, but I think he has a chance to play,” Izzo said. “Is it in a week? I doubt it. is it in two weeks? Maybe. is it in three weeks? Possibly. And then you restart the whole process of retrieving it and entering it.”

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In nine games this season, Hall is averaging 9.9 points and 4.1 rebounds. He started the first four games before his stress reaction and averaged 31.8 minutes with 12 points and 5.3 rebounds in the first four games. In five games off the bench since his return on Dec. 30 against Buffalo, he averaged 8.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19.9 minutes.

Hall missed the final 7:26 of MSU’s 75-66 loss at Illinois, appearing to sprain his left ankle fighting for a fumble on offense. He was in a walking boot during Monday’s game.

Without Hall, Izzo played with four players over 30 minutes against Purdue: Tyson Walker scored 30 points in 37 minutes, Joey Hauser scored 10 in 38 minutes, AJ Hoggard scored 14 in 36 minutes and Jaden Akins scored five in 32 minutes.

“People have to play more minutes, like Joey, Jaden and me,” Walker said Monday. “But it’s not really on the fly, because we’ve done it before. It’s hard without (Hall). But we’ll try to get used to it for as long as it takes. Maybe it’s not the time, maybe at some point, but we just have to respond to that.”

Hall previously sprained his left ankle just before halftime against Michigan on January 7, but returned for the second half. He also had a toe injury that kept him out of the first practices of the season in late September.

Michigan State's Malik Hall wears a boot on his left foot before the game against Purdue during the first half on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

Michigan State’s Malik Hall wears a boot on his left foot before the game against Purdue during the first half on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

Izzo said specialists have told Hall that the foot is “healing well” this time.

“It’s a more positive sign than it was,” Izzo said. “The crack that I think maybe they thought they saw is more or less the healing process. Malik also broke a big toe early in his career, and there’s scar tissue there.

“Whatever I can get out of it, as long as it’s not detrimental to his health in any way, which we’ve been guaranteed it isn’t, guaranteed to the best of your ability, I think it’s positive.”

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Read more about the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State basketball: Encouraging news on Malik Hall’s foot injury

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