The lingering left toe injury that limited Texas Longhorns freshman forward Mo Bamba to 15 minutes on Saturday will keep him out of Monday’s game against the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence, the school revealed on Monday afternoon.
After playing at an extremely high level for about a month, Bamba clearly hasn’t been the same since suffering the toe injury — he only took four shots against Kansas State last week in scoring nine points and then managed a single bucket against Oklahoma State on Saturday. Bamba’s body language and overall energy level were clearly affected by the injury, so he sat out the second half.
With Bamba out, freshman forward Jericho Sims and sophomore center James Banks will have to step forward. Sims scored in double figures against the Pokes for the second time this season and showed an improved comfort level with his low post moves in scoring 11 points. With two blocks, a steal, and a critical assist late in the game to sophomore guard Jacob Young, Sims also impacted the game in other areas beyond scoring. Banks had one basket in four minutes while appearing in a game for the first time in nearly a month.
The calculation from the Texas trainers is that Bamba will benefit more than rest this week than to continue pushing through the injury. Next weekend, the ‘Horns close the regular season when the Mountaineers come to the Erwin Center. Then the crucial Big 12 Tournament begins next week in Kansas City before Texas finds out its tournament fate.
Bamba is third on the team is scoring at 13 points per game and leads the Longhorns in rebounding (10.6 per game) and blocked shots (3.8 per game).