Ohio State basketball coach Chris Holtmann does not believe Zed Key’s injury is long-term

Ohio State basketball star Zed Key suffered an apparent left knee injury in Saturday’s 93-77 win over Iowa. He limped off the court in the second half and trainers had to help him to the locker room. After the game, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann provided a relatively optimistic update on Key.

“I don’t have anything specific right now,” Holtmann said. “It does not look like a long-term injury, as of now. It does not look like a long-term injury. asked him why he dunked it and he just said, ‘Well, I was open.’ So he felt good about that one. But he did feel some pain, but it does not look like a long-term injury.”

Key scored 11 points and had nine rebounds in 28 minutes of play before exiting the game. The injury occurred when he landed awkwardly after putting a dunk home. He immediately grabbed his left knee and tried to come off the floor before play was stopped. 

Key has dealt with a couple injuries this season. He hurt his left shoulder Jan. 5 in a narrow loss to Purdue and missed a game against Maryland before returning a week later against Minnesota. Key scored in double digits in each game since coming back from the shoulder injury.

“He’s had a really good junior year,” Holtmann said Jan. 9. “We’ve been on him in some areas, but when you look at how important he is in terms of the physicality of how we want to play, he’s really important for this team.”

The 6-foot-8, 255-pound Key is averaging 12.1 points and eight rebounds per game. He has scored at least 10 points in 14 out of his 17 full games this season.

After playing a key role off the bench from 2020-21 as a freshman, he started 23 games last season while appearing in 29. He averaged 7.8 points per game and finished second on the team by averaging 5.6 rebounds per game. His 56.2% field goal mark paced the Buckeyes.

Key signed with Ohio State in 2020 out of Glen Head (N.Y.) Long Island Lutheran High School. A three-star prospect, he ranked as the No. 31 center and No. 4 prospect in the state of New York.

“Average height and athleticism for a power forward but has long arms, strength and a good motor,” his 247Sports evaluation reads. “Plays well with back to the basket. Has a quality jump hook with either hand. Adequate ball handler and passer for position. Rebounds his area. Hard working and tough interior defender. Limited defensively on the perimeter.”

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Ohio State (11-8, 3-5 in Big Ten), which snapped a five-game losing streak Saturday, returns to action Tuesday at Illinois

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