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Louisville C Malik Williams done for the year

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The Cardinal co-captain will end his senior season with just three appearances.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 02 Louisville at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Malik Williams will be out for 4-6 weeks after re-injuring his right foot in Louisville’s win at Duke Saturday night. That means that the Cardinal center will almost certainly be sidelined for the remainder of his senior season.

“I just feel for Malik and his family,” Louisville head coach Chris Mack said on Monday’s ACC coaches teleconference. “I know how hard he worked to get back, and I just feel for him. He got hit with this news like a ton of bricks.”

Here’s a portion of the release from U of L:

University of Louisville senior forward/center Malik Williams reinjured his right foot in the second half at Duke and will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The injury will not require surgery.

The Cardinals’ team co-captain and the most experienced returnee for UofL, Williams has played in the last three games after missing Louisville’s first 15 games after he developed a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot and had surgery to repair the break on Nov. 11.

He made his season debut at North Carolina on Feb. 20, contributing four points, three rebounds and an assist. He followed that with eight points and 10 rebounds vs. Notre Dame in his first start of the season, his 10th career double-figure rebounding effort. He started his second game of the year at Duke, scoring five points and grabbing five rebounds in 19 minutes of action before leaving in the second halft with the injury.

Williams had worked patiently to return to the court this season. His slow progression to return to play began a few weeks ago with water treadmill workouts before moving to strength conditioning, agility skills drills and balance and stability drills. He has received bone stimulator treatments daily for the last 12 weeks, since the dressings came off from his surgery. He was cleared by medical personnel to begin basketball activity about two weeks ago and has worked his way to this point where he has no physical limitations and no discomfort.

Every single time that it seems like this team is about to hit its full stride — Western Kentucky, Georgia Tech, etc. — something happens to totally derail things. It’s been a Covid pause twice before, now it’s this.

If there’s anything comforting about this, it’s the fact that Louisville has already played most of the season without Williams. Yes, it’s been wonderful seeing Jae’Lyn Withers playing his natural position for the last three games, but we know he can also be a serviceable option at the five. This would be a much more difficult blow to recover from if Williams had been healthy and playing the entire season.

Still, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a huge hit.

Best wishes to Malik as he begins yet another recovery process.