Craig Smith Hopeful For Injury Clarity For Utes Ahead Of Weekend Homestand

Jan 17, 2024, 11:59 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Runnin’ Utes walked away a little banged up after last week’s set of games against UCLA and Stanford but are hoping for clarity on the injury-front ahead of Thursday night’s game.

Head coach Craig Smith was on DJ & PK and gave the latest on what he knows about injury statuses of point guard Rollie Worster and big man Lawson Lovering.

Worster got banged up in Utah’s big win at home over UCLA, while Lovering went out early on the road against the Cardinal. Both players have significant roles in the Utes’ lineups and Smith is hopeful to have clarity on where they are at later Wednesday.

The Runnin’ Utes Managing Injuries Ahead Of Hosting Oregon State, Oregon

If Worster and Lovering are not good to go, the Utes will need to rely on guys like Deivon Smith, Gabe Madsen, Branden Carlson and Keba Keita to keep things running as smooth as possible.

The good news is that Smith and Carlson hit some statistical milestones in Worster and Lovering’s abscesses. The bad news is that no matter how good your group is, the more injuries you deal with, the more pressure there is to pick up the slack.

While the waiting and not knowing till the last minute is hard, coach Smith says Utah is trying their best to be prepared for whatever the results give them to work with.

“Worster did something against UCLA and we are still working on pinpointing what the situation is and where that is going to go,” Smith said. “We thought there was a good chance he was going to play [against Stanford]- above 50/50, but obviously it didn’t work out. We were prepared for both.”

“Lovering gets in there [against Stanford] and it’s three minutes into the game and he has a lower leg issue,” Smith continued. “Both of those guys have been seeing doctors and with our athletics trainer. I anticipate knowing a lot more at some point today as to what their status is going to be for Thursday, for Sunday and for both the short-term and the long-term. We’re crossing our fingers that we get good news.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Craig Smith Hopeful For Injury Clarity For Utes Ahead Of Weekend Homestand