Lennard Freeman hasn’t been completely healthy this season for N.C. State and won’t be for the last three ACC games.
Freeman has what the team describes as a reoccurring stress reaction in his lower right leg. The 6-8 junior forward will still be available to play this season but will be limited in his minutes.
“Lennard has shown a great deal of toughness and willingness to play through pain to help his team this season,” coach Mark Gottfried said in a statement released by the school. “He will be very limited in his availability and we will continue to monitor his status.”
Freeman is second on the team with 5.6 rebounds per game. He has started 15 games and averaged 21.5 minutes per game despite being slowed by a leg injury. He has played less than 20 minutes in five of the past six games.
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Freeman had surgery to insert a 14-inch steel rod in his lower right shin in June. He hasn’t been able to play at 100 percent this season.
He came off the bench in Wednesday’s 80-68 loss to North Carolina and played 15 minutes. After the game, an X-ray revealed the latest injury.
Even with Freeman, N.C. State wasn’t a deep team. The Wolfpack has been missing junior guard Terry Henderson since the season opener and he is unlikely to play again this season.
Without Freeman, the Wolfpack has six healthy scholarship players and only two forwards. Sophomore wing Cody Martin will fill the power forward spot if Gottfried wants to go with a smaller lineup.
N.C. State travels to Syracuse on Saturday and closes out the regular season next week with a home game against Boston College (Wednesday) and a trip to Notre Dame on March 5.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio