Sever­ity of Wright’s in­jury not known

The Denver Post - - SPORT - By Pat Rooney No­table.

B OULDER» McKin­ley Wright has been play­ing through pain. On Satur­day night, after rein­jur­ing his ail­ing left shoul­der, that pain proved too much to over­come.

As if a 77-70 loss against Wash­ing­ton in a Pac-12 bat­tle weren’t frus­trat­ing enough, the woes of the al­ready-shorthanded Colorado Buf­faloes were mag­ni­fied when Wright left the floor at the 8-minute, 8-sec­ond mark of the first half be­cause of an in­jury to his left shoul­der.

The Buffs al­ready were play­ing with­out guards Deleon Brown (aca­dem­i­cally ineligible) and Na­mon Wright, who missed his third con­sec­u­tive game due to a foot in­jury. When Wright went down, it forced Shane Gatling and fresh­man Daylen Kountz to pick up the slack at the top of the Buffs’ at­tack.

“When McKin­ley went down, I was telling my team that we’ve got to keep play­ing,” Gatling said. “McKin­ley is a big part of our of­fense and de­fense. He’s a big part of our team. At prac­tice, we play a lot with­out him, so we just treated this like prac­tice play­ing with­out him. Just stay­ing to­gether, play­ing con­fi­dent, play­ing smart.”

After­ward, coach Tad Boyle re­vealed that Wright has been play­ing through a shoul­der in­jury he suf­fered in the Buffs’ first work­out after re­turn­ing from their hol­i­day break two weeks ago. Boyle said an MRI on the shoul­der at the time re­vealed no struc­tural dam­age, but fol­low­ing Satur­day’s loss he re­mained un­cer­tain of the sever­ity of Wright’s lat­est set­back.

“We’ll get a bet­ter feel for that as we get into next week,” Boyle said. “I do know he’s been play­ing less than 100 per­cent. Ob­vi­ously we didn’t an­nounce that to the world, but peo­ple need to un­der­stand how tough that kid is. When we went to Ari­zona, we weren’t sure he was go­ing to play. And he ends up play­ing both games. He’s got the heart of a lion and that kid’s tough­ness will never be ques­tioned. But in terms of the in­jury and what the prog­no­sis is and what it means for him the rest of the sea­son, at this point we don’t know that.”

Oddly, Wright was in­jured on the five-year an­niver­sary of when for­mer CU guard Spencer Din­wid­die suf­fered a sea­son-end­ing knee in­jury at Wash­ing­ton in 2014.

Satur­day’s at­ten­dance of 7,758 was the sec­ond-high­est of the sea­son, trail­ing only the Colorado State game (7,887). … In ad­di­tion to his ca­reer-highs on 3point­ers (four) and points (22), CU’s D’Shawn Schwartz also posted a ca­reer-best three steals. Schwartz pre­vi­ously had never re- corded more than one steal in a game. Schwartz shot 13-for-22 in the two-game home­s­tand. … The Huskies’ .551 shoot­ing per­cent­age was the third-high­est by a CU op­po­nent this sea­son and the fourth time the Buffs have al­lowed the op­po­si­tion to shoot at least 50 per­cent. … Be­fore the home­s­tand, the Buffs had posted more as­sists than turnovers in just three of 14 games. They achieved that feat in both games of the home­s­tand, fin­ish­ing with 13 as­sists and 12 turnovers against the Huskies.

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