Indiana reserve forward Austin Etherington underwent season-ending surgery Sunday in Indianapolis to repair a fractured patella he suffered in his left knee. The injury occurred late in the first half Saturday against Central Connecticut State.
"Anytime you lose a valued member of your program it not only hurts the team, but also everyone's hearts," Indiana coach Tom Crean said in a statement Sunday. "Austin has been doing an excellent job improving and now we have to help him overcome this setback and move forward."
Etherington got hurt while defending near the basket with 2:28 left in the first half. He was taken off the court on a stretcher. His teammates and coaches surrounded him before he was taken away.
"It was a very tough moment," senior forward Christian Watford said Saturday. "When you have a guy who's been though a lot with the program, it's tough. He's a teammate, but he's also a friend of mine, so it's always tough seeing a comrade go down like that."
Etherington averaged 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds this season. He appeared in seven games and averaged 6.7 minutes per contest. Etherington was 4 of 7 from the floor. He played in 16 games as a freshman and averaged 1.3 points.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Ahlfeld.
"Our players have experience in this area and everyone is looking forward to helping him recover," Crean said. "As serious as his injury was, we are thankful that it was not worse. We have such an outstanding medical team I could not imagine going through something like this without them. We are fortunate to have them"