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Duke’s Grayson Allen working with team after May ankle surgery

Duke coach Krzyzewski: 'I love Grayson'

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski tells reporters that he will always have Grayson Allen's back, as will the rest of his team.
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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski tells reporters that he will always have Grayson Allen's back, as will the rest of his team.

After dealing with a left ankle injury that slowed him the last half of last season, Duke senior guard Grayson Allen had surgery to address the injury in May.

Duke spokesman Jon Jackson said Wednesday the procedure was “minor surgery to clean out his left ankle” and that Allen is healthy and participating in team activities.

Allen played in 34 of Duke’s 37 games but started only 25 as a junior last season. He dealt with left ankle and right big toe injuries as well as missing one game while on suspension for tripping an opposing player during the Dec. 21 game with Elon.

After averaging 21.6 points per game while being named an all-American as a sophomore, Allen’s scoring average dipped to 14.5 points last season. His overall field goal percentage fell from 46.6 percent to 39.5 percent while his 3-point average also fell -- from 41.7 percent to 36.5.

Duke hadn’t previously released information about Allen’s surgery. During a podcast with ESPN’s Seth Greenberg, that was posted on Wednesday, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned Allen’s surgery.

“We had him away from basketball for about three months,” Krzyzewski said. “He had a minor operation on his ankle. He’s now fully recovered, so his athleticism is there. He’s happy, he’s in shape and he’s sharing that.”

Allen was a team captain, along with seniors Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson, last season before his suspension caused Krzyzewski to strip him of that title. As the lone senior on this season’s team, he’s already being counted on for leadership on a team that brought in six freshmen. While Duke has yet to formally say Allen has regained the captaincy, Krzyzewski made it clear he has those duties.

“You put on him what you’d put on a captain of your team and that’s what he is,” Krzyzewski said.

Allen is in a backcourt that also includes freshman point guard Trevon Duval, freshman shooting guard Gary Trent, Jr., plus freshman small forward Jordan Tucker and sophomore small forward Jack White.

“I’m really happy where Grayson is at emotionally, physically,” Krzyzewski said. “He’s really excited about leading these guys.”

Krzyzewski said Allen is “refreshed” after a difficult junior season.

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC

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