N.C. State got good long-term news about Cody Martin’s ankle injury on Thursday.
The sophomore guard sprained his left ankle after a key late-game steal in Wednesday’s 76-73 win over High Point but he did not suffer a fracture or a more serious injury. Martin hasn’t been ruled out for Saturday’s game at Missouri but is unlikely to play.
Without Martin, and injured guard Terry Henderson, the Wolfpack (7-3) would have only six healthy scholarship players for the nonconference road game with the Tigers (5-4).
Martin got tangled up with High Point’s Adam Weary with 16.6 seconds left in Wednesday’s dramatic win. With the score tied at 73, Martin stole an inbounds pass from guard Anthony Lindauer in front of the High Point bench that was intended for Weary.
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Martin streaked down the sideline towards the N.C. State basket when Weary cut him off on the left side of the lane. The two players got tangled up on the foul by Weary and Martin went down hard. Martin immediately grabbed his left ankle and limped off the floor, unable to attempt the free throws.
N.C. State was able to pull out the win with a last-second 3-pointer from guard Cat Barber. While the Wolfpack players celebrated on the court, Martin watched from the bench with his left leg propped up.
Martin has done a little bit of everything for the Wolfpack this season and has averaged 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He has been used at power forward and also as Barber’s primary backup at point guard.
Henderson was expected to share some of the ball-handling duties this season but was injured 7 minutes in the season opener. The junior transfer from West Virginia suffered ligament damage in his right ankle in the 85-68 loss to William & Mary on Nov. 13. He underwent successful surgery three days later and had been in a cast or walking boot ever since.
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said Henderson got off crutches on Thursday for the first time but it would still be, in the best-case scenario, another three to four weeks before he is able to return to the court.
Gottfried only used seven players in Wednesday’s win over High Point. Freshman wing Shaun Kirk or sophomore walk-on point guard Chris Corchiani Jr. might have to get more minutes against Mizzou, if Martin can’t play.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio