BLOG — Prayers from Rebel Nation weren’t enough to prevent Ole Miss sophomore forward Aaron Jones from being lost for the remainder of the basketball season with a torn ACL.
Ole Miss confirmed Jones’ injury late this afternoon after he underwent an MRI to determine the severity of the knee injury he suffered Tuesday night when the No. 16 Rebels played host to Kentucky. The 6-foot-9, 218-pound Gautier native was injured in the second half and had to be helped off the court. Making Jones’ injury worse was the news that senior wing Nick Williams, who was limited in action with Kentucky, is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Williams has been dealing with plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of thick tissue on the bottom of the foot.
Coach Andy Kennedy didn’t want to speculate on Jones’ injury too much after last night’s 87-74 setback, but he also admitted that the initial prognosis from the doctors that examined Jones didn’t think the injury looked favorable.
Jones had garnered more and more minutes as the season had progressed for the Rebels. He came into the UK game averaging 3.4 points an 3.8 rebounds per game and he ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference in blocked shots per game at 1.6.
With Jones out, Kennedy will have to play senior forwards Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner more minutes. There was also some good news gained on the injury front as junior center DeMarco Cox, who has been out since the Rebels took on San Francisco on Dec. 23, has been cleared to begin conditioning and re-join practices in the attempt to add depth up front the rest of the year. Cox has only played in seven games this season and is only averaging 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in limited action.
Holloway talked about playing without Jones after Tuesday’s game. Ole Miss returns to action Saturday night at No. 4 Florida.
“If AJ’s out, that hurts me as a person. I have to play more careful as far as not being as aggressive and gambling going for steals and getting fouled,” Holloway said. “It’s going to be hard to bounce back down there (at Florida) but the pain that I feel with losing, we won so many in a row, losing, it hurts too bad. You can lay down and let one (loss) turn to two and turn to three.”
Williams was averaging 9.7 points and 2.7 rebounds on the season prior to the Kentucky. He played 13 minutes against the Wildcats before not returning to finish the contest.
For more on the injuries to Williams and Jones, see Thursday’s Sports section. (January 30, 2013)