When Ryan Kelly returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with a right foot injury, he refused to discuss the specifics of his ailments. This trend continued after the season-ending loss at Louisville, the last time he met with the media.
I was hurt pretty good, Kelly said. Ill let you know if I want to tell you what happened later on. For now, just know that I was pretty hurt.
The severity of Kellys injury came into better focus Tuesday when he underwent surgery on his right foot and will be out 12 weeks. Its his second surgery on that foot in 13 months. The surgery was to repair damage stemming from the Jan. 8 injury against Clemson, the school said in a release.
He showed amazing courage playing during the last part of our season leading us to the Elite Eight, head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. With this surgery Ryan is expected to return to 100 percent and pursue his dream of playing in the NBA.
Kelly, projected as a possible late second-round pick, will be sidelined for any predraft workouts leading up to the June 27th NBA draft.
Kellys initial right foot injury occurred in practice leading up to the 2012 ACC tournament. He missed the final three games of the 2011-12 season, including Dukes loss to No. 15-seed Lehigh in the 2012 NCAA tournament. Kelly had surgery that March but reinjured his foot Jan. 8 against Clemson, missing the next 13 ACC games.
Kellys March 2 return to the lineup was as memorable as any individual performance in Duke history. He scored a career-high 36 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field, including 7-of-9 from 3-point range, in a 79-76 win over No. 5 Miami. He struggled to find his long-range shot after that game, finishing the season 3-of-26 (11.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
Kelly was an honorable mention all-ACC selection despite playing just five league games. He also ranks fourth in the Duke record books in career winning percentage, with the Blue Devils compiling a 111-15 (.881) record with him on the floor.
Keeley: 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley