Knee injury to Duke star Williamson described as mild

Zion Williamson of Duke is widely projected to be first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Duke star big man Zion Williamson suffered a mild right knee sprain in Wednesday’s 88-72 loss to North Carolina and will have the injury re-examined Thursday, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters.

The timetable for Williamson’s return will also be determined Thursday, Krzyzewski said.

The 6-foot-7 Williamson left the game 33 seconds into play when his shoe ripped as he planted his left foot. His right knee buckled and Williamson crashed to the court. Williamson limped off the floor under his own power, to never return. The Tar Heels promptly dominated inside and were never really threatened.

“We’re very concerned about Zion. It’s a mild knee sprain,” Krzyzewski said. “We will know about length of time tomorrow. It’s stable. Obviously it has an impact.

Williamson is averaging 22.4 points per game and is widely regarded as the top NBA draft prospect in a game filled with them. One player who isn’t on most draft boards, Carolina center Luke Maye, dominated with 30 points, 14 rebounds and several nifty passes.

Duke wing R.J. Barrett, the consensus second overall pick, scored 33 points to go with 13 boards. Blue Devils wing Cam Reddish is another projected top-five pick and scored a career-high 27 points.

Overall, the top-ranked Blue Devils shot just 20 percent on 3-pointers (8-of-39) and committed a season-high 20 turnovers.

North Carolina scored 62 points in the paint and received 26 points from Cam Johnson.