Udoka Azubuike to miss remainder of season with wrist injury

Kansas junior center Udoka Azubuike will miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season due to surgery required to fix ligament damage in his right hand, KU Athletics reported on Sunday.

The junior tore a ligament in his right hand during practice last week, the school announced Sunday. "This occurred in practice on Friday - and although initial x-rays did not reveal the extent of the injury, the MRI did".

He is set to have surgery in the near future.

Self said that doctors expect a complete recovery and that Azubuike will be able to resume basketball activities sometime this summer. The 7-foot-1 center is KU's third-leading scorer (13.4 points per game) and second-leading rebounder (6.8 boards per game).

Held out of Saturday's loss at Iowa State for what were called "precautionary" reasons, the situation surrounding his injured right wrist turned disastrous for Kansas junior Udoka Azubuike on Sunday.

The injury is a significant blow to the Jayhawks' interior depth, not to mention their national title aspirations. Self on December 17 said there was no update or movement on De Sousa's status from the NCAA despite the end of the first semester.

Azubuike, who also missed time earlier this season with a sprained ankle, did not play in Saturday's lopsided 77-60 loss at Iowa State. "Granted, we don't have a lot of where we can go to guarantee us having a great possession".

His absence figures to force Self and the Jayhawks to explore more small-ball lineups the rest of the way, something he has hinted at doing more of anyway given the success he has had with four-guard looks during the past couple of seasons.

Whether that sticks when Kansas returns to the floor against TCU on Wednesday night remains to be seen.