Wichita State center Carl Hall will miss about a month with a broken right thumb, coach Gregg Marshall said Monday.
Hall, WSU’s leading scorer and rebounder, will undergo surgery Tuesday. He fell on the thumb during practice Saturday. He is the third starter to be sidelined by an injury this season. Guard Evan Wessel is out with a broken pinky finger and center Ehimen Orukpe missed three games before returning, at less than full speed, in Thursday’s loss at Tennessee.
“That’s why you use your scholarships and just don’t sign five guys,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said.
Hall, a senior, fell on the thumb on his shooting hand while driving to the basket and bumping defender Cleanthony Early. Marshall said the surgeon will insert a screw into Hall’s thumb to hold the bone in place. He will remain in a cast for around two weeks.
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“You just hate the timing for Carl,” Marshall said. “He worked so hard and was playing so well. He’s really been playing beautiful basketball.”
Hall averages 13.9 points and 7.6 rebounds. He scored 21 points, with nine rebounds, on 9-of-10 shooting against Tennessee.
Hall’s absence means more playing time for junior center Chadrack Lufile and sophomore forward Jake White. Lufile has played sparingly this season, averaging 2.4 points in 7.9 minutes. White averages 3.5 points.
If Hall missses four weeks, he may be able to return for a Jan. 13 game at Evansville.
WSU plays Charleston Southern on Thursday at Koch Arena, followed by a Saturday game against Southern Mississippi at Intrust Bank Arena. The Shockers then break until the opening of Missouri Valley Conference play on Dec. 30 against Northern Iowa.
Marshall said Wessel, who has missed the past two games, will not play Thursday. Surgery is also possible for him, if he cannot play with the broken finger on his right (shooting) hand.
“That’s our two toughest guys out with injury,” Marshall said.
The Shockers (9-1) fell out of the Associated Press top 25 poll after the 69-60 loss to Tennessee. They received six votes, down from 280 the previous week. WSU spent two weeks in the top 25.