UCLA just can’t catch a break.
To compound the concerns regarding the eligibility of freshman phenom Shabazz Muhammad, they now have to worry about his health going into the season.
UCLA announced Muhammad injured his right shoulder during practice; however, the extent of the injury is not yet known. Muhammad has already taken an MRI but the results will not be made available until Thursday.
This news compiles on to the already-existing question marks surrounding UCLA hoops, which could be without the two freshmen — if ruled ineligible for the 2012-13 season by the NCAA for violations that occurred during their recruitment — that helped the Bruins land the top recruiting class in the nation in 2012 in Kyle Anderson and Muhammad.
Of course, the injury has little to do with the ongoing NCAA investigation. It could, however, have major implications on Muhammad’s draft status since he’s widely regarded as the top pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Injuries are evaluated aggressively at the next level and if this injury shelves Muhammad for the entire season — a scenario that would upset even the most casual college hoops fan — it will likely force him from being picked in the lottery come 2013.
UCLA is set to tip-off their season November 9 against Indiana State, meaning the injury — if it requires surgery or is even mildly severe — is likely to keep him out past that time.