Injuries continue to pile up for Oregon basketball's big men.
Kenny Wooten broke his jaw in Friday’s 57-47 loss at Baylor. The 6-foot-9 sophomore had four points, four rebounds and four blocked shots in 31 minutes against the Bears.
“Just so there isn’t any false claims or confusion, I broke my jaw in last night’s game,” Wooten posted on Twitter on Saturday.
A source confirmed the injury to The Register-Guard. It is unclear how long Wooten will be out, but it seems likely he will have to miss at least a month before returning to the court.
Wooten is the third starter to suffer an injury in the past two weeks, joining Bol Bol and Abu Kigab.
The 7-foot-2 Bol leads the Ducks with 21.0 points and 9.6 rebounds while missing the past three games with a left foot injury. Oregon has not updated Bol’s status since he was injured and coach Dana Altman reiterated after the Baylor game that he did not know how long Bol would be out.
Altman also was unsure of the status of Kigab, who was averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10 games before sitting out the past two games with a sprained left ankle.
Wooten has started 11 of 12 games for the Ducks while averaging 6.6 points and 4.9 rebounds to go with 19 blocked shots. He was a member of the Pac-12’s all-defensive team last year when he had 92 blocked shots, third on the Oregon single-season list.
Bol and Wooten gave the Ducks an intimidating duo on defense that has combined for 43 of Oregon’s 58 blocked shots. Oregon will be thin on the inside for however long they are without those two.
Paul White, a 6-9 senior, is the most experienced player in the post for Oregon but is more suited to play on the perimeter. Freshmen Francis Okoro and Miles Norris will likely get more playing time while Wooten is out.
Oregon also has the option to go with a three-guard lineup and start senior Ehab Amin or sophomore Victor Bailey along with Payton Pritchard and Will Richardson. When Wooten did not start in Tuesday’s 71-64 win over Florida A&M because of an illness, Altman started Bailey, Pritchard, Richardson, White and freshman Louis King.
Kigab is expected to be the first of the injured Ducks to return to the court, perhaps when Oregon (8-4) visits Boise State (5-7) on Saturday.
Many of Oregon’s players went home for Christmas following Friday’s game and will return next week to prepare for their second game this season against the Broncos.