Wolverines' McGary opts for surgery, out indefinitely

Wolverines' McGary opts for surgery, out indefinitely
December 27, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Vinnie Duber

Things have not gone great for Michigan this season, and they just got worse.

Forward Mitch McGary, who was picked for the preseason AP All-America team, elected back surgery and is out indefinitely, Michigan announced on Friday. McGary has been bothered by a back injury since before the season started, and he's only played in eight of the Wolverines' 11 games this season.

"My back problems have been a daily challenge ever since late August," McGary said in the release. "We have worked hard rehabbing the injury, and I thought that everything was proceeding in the right direction until the last two weeks. I have consulted with my family, my coaches and our doctors and decided the best option now is to have surgery. This was a difficult decision to make because I want to be out there with my teammates. At the same time, I need to be healthy to give everything I can on the court and help my team."

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McGary, a sophomore, earned plenty of national attention thanks to a string of breakout performances in last year's NCAA tournament, a Big Dance that saw the Wolverines march all the way to the championship game, where they finished runners up to Louisville. He averaged 14.3 points per game in six games and 10.7 rebounds, including two performances of 20-plus points and 14 rebounds.

This year, in his eight games, he's averaging 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, but that's only in an average of just more than 24 minutes per game for the 7-4 Wolverines.

"We want Mitch to be 100-percent healthy again," head coach John Beilein said in the release. "He has worked very hard over the last few months and during his earlier rehab. He was making progress in practice and games; however, lately he began to experience the same pain he had when we held him out of preseason practice this fall. Our first priority is Mitch's overall health even though I am certain he would rather be back on the court right now."

Michigan said there is no timetable for McGary's return.