Maverick Rowan hobbled out of the locker room after Saturday’s loss at Syracuse with an ice bag on his injured left foot.
Rowan, N.C. State’s second-leading scorer, was not in the starting lineup for the first time since the season opener. Wolfpack (14-15, 4-12 ACC) coach Mark Gottfried said he was trying to be cautious with his freshman shooting guard.
“We were worried (after the North Carolina game) it was a hairline fracture but thankfully it’s not,” Gottfried said. “He’s still pretty sore.”
Rowan didn’t practice between N.C. State’s home loss to UNC on Wednesday and the 75-66 loss at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. He was able to play 25 minutes, his fewest since the ACC opener on Jan. 2, against the Orange and scored 10 points.
For the season, Rowan, who had started 27 straight games, is second on the team in scoring with 12.7 points per game.
N.C. State hasn’t had a deep rotation all season but Gottfried was hamstrung on Saturday and likely will be the rest of the way. Gottfried does not want to risk further injury for Rowan or junior forward Lennard Freeman.
Freeman, who has been dealing with a leg injury all season, played 15 minutes against the Orange. Freeman has a reoccurring stress reaction in his surgically repaired right leg. Freeman had a 14-inch steel rod inserted into his right shin in the offseason.
Gottfried said he doesn’t want to push Freeman, who has averaged 21.3 minutes per game but has only played more than 20 minutes once in the past seven games.
Gottfried has used a 7-man rotation for most of the season. Freshman wing Shaun Kirk played 2 minutes in the first half at Syracuse. Kirk has played in six ACC games this season but only once more than five minutes.
N.C. State has also unofficially shut down junior guard Terry Henderson for the season. Henderson suffered ligament damage to his right ankle in the opening minutes of the season opener and hasn’t played since.
Henderson, who transferred from West Virginia in 2014, has the potential to apply to the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility.
N.C. State closes out the regular season with Boston College at home on Wednesday and then a trip to Notre Dame on Saturday.
The Wolfpack is locked into the opening round of the ACC tournament on Tuesday, March 7 in Washington.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio