Duke freshman and former five-star prospect Dariq Whitehead suffered a lower-leg injury during Monday’s game at Virginia Tech. Whitehead left the game early in the second half after landing awkwardly on his left leg. Whitehead was then helped off the court and unable to put any weight on his leg. He was listed as doubtful to return, according to the ESPN broadcast.
The injury came with 17:20 left in the second half as Duke trailed 47-45. Whitehead attempted to defend an entry pass by jumping at the ball in front of his man but came down awkwardly and immediately crumpled to the floor. He hopped to his feet to finish out the offensive play from Virginia Tech but checked right out of the game when the possession changed.
Whitehead signed to Duke with high expectations as a five-star McDonald’s All-American and ranked as the No. 2 overall player in the 2022 class. He has been a projected lottery pick in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft; however, he has yet to fully live up to expectations after suffering a right foot fracture in the preseason that required surgery. He missed the first two weeks of the season and slowly been worked back into Duke’s rotation as the season has gone along. And now, he is dealing with another injury.
In 15 games this season with the Blue Devils, Whitehead, who left Monday’s game with 10 points and one rebound, is averaging 8.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in just over 20 minutes of action per night. Duke was 14-5 entering the evening with a 5-3 overall record in ACC play.