OMAHA, Neb. – Creighton star Doug McDermott will be able to play through his injury. His wingman, Grant Gibbs, will not.
An MRI on Wednesday showed McDermott has a sprained left shoulder and some bruising. McDermott originally was hurt against Seton Hall this past weekend and aggravated the injury against DePaul on Tuesday. He said he would be ready when the Big East-leading Bluejays host Xavier on Sunday.
Gibbs dislocated his right kneecap in the first half against DePaul, according to an MRI, and will miss at least four weeks.
"Wasn't as bad as they anticipated," Gibbs said. "We have more-than-capable guys coming off the bench that are ready to step in and make things happen. I think we'll be able to keep the ball rolling."
Creighton (13-2) has won eight straight and defeated its first three Big East opponents by an average of 17 points.
The Bluejays got a couple scares during their 81-62 road win over the Blue Demons. The first came when Gibbs' right leg tangled with a DePaul player's leg as they battled for a rebound. Gibbs was helped off the court, and he was on crutches when the Bluejays left the arena.
McDermott winced in pain after he was bumped in the lane by the Blue Demons' Peter Ryckbosch. McDermott got treatment at halftime finished with a team-high 19 points in 35 minutes. He was in street clothes with an icepack on his shoulder when he showed up for Wednesday's light practice.
"I think we can at least get him on the practice floor Saturday for the game on Sunday," coach Greg McDermott said. "The reality of it is, the pounding Doug takes, a couple days off for him probably isn't a bad idea anyway."
Gibbs has had an injury-plagued career, and the NCAA last spring gave him a sixth year of eligibility. He's started all 15 games in the Bluejays' three-guard offense, averaging 6.1 points and 4.1 assists.
The 23-year-old Gibbs' greatest attributes are his leadership and playmaking ability. He consistently passes the ball right where Doug McDermott wants it, and McDermott has said their connection on and off the court is a big reason for his success.
Gibbs' backup, Avery Dingman, scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes against DePaul.
"If you have to lose a guy like Grant for a short period or long period, there's no better way to go into that than with a guy like Avery coming off his best game of the season," Greg McDermott said. "That's going to add some fuel on the fire on the practice floor as he prepares for what's ahead this weekend."
Doug McDermott is averaging 24.3 points a game, second-best in the nation, despite getting knocked around night in and night out. He said it's been good preparation for the pros, and he won't let his sore shoulder change the way he plays.
"I like to lower my shoulder and bang around in there, so I'm still going to play my game," McDermott said. "It's the Big East now. We're 3-0. I'd probably be feeling a lot worse if we weren't 3-0. I'm going to battle through it."