Michigan senior guard Caris LeVert will not return this season. The 6-foot-7 guard will focus on getting healthy while recovering from a lower left leg injury suffered in Michigan’s Big Ten season opener.
LeVert will miss 26 of his final 36 regular season Big Ten games after injuries ended his junior and senior seasons early. He’s projected as a late first or early second round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but will be battling questions about his health after suffering injuries in his last three seasons.
Before the injury, LeVert led Michigan in points, rebounds and assists per game.
Here’s the full University of Michigan Press Release:
University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach John Beilein announced today (Tuesday, March 1) senior co-captain Caris LeVert will sit out the remainder of the season to concentrate on his continued recovery after suffering a lower left leg injury at the end of December.
“After some prayer and talking it over with my family, Coach Beilein and the medical staff, we all feel it is best for me to concentrate on getting fully healthy,” said LeVert. “There is still some discomfort that does not allow me to help this team the way I want.”
“I am so thankful for what Coach Beilein, the assistants and the medical staff have done for me during my collegiate career and in particular while I have dealt with these injuries.
“U-M has provided me the chance to live my dream of playing college basketball and to earn a Michigan degree. There are really no words to express my gratitude for that as well as my love for all my teammates. I am so blessed to be part of this wonderful university and will forever represent the Maize and Blue.”
“This has been a tough two months for Caris,” said Beilein. “He has worked so hard to get back to this point, and Caris’ long-term health is what is most important.
“Caris has been a pleasure to coach; he is a wonderful young man with a brilliant future. I am confident he will have a very successful professional career because his talent, attitude, quickness and versatility make every team better.
“He has always carried himself and handled these situations with such class and a level of maturity that is unmatched. This is not how he wanted to finish his career here; however, we know he can hold his head high for how he has represented this great university and our basketball program.”
LeVert played in 103 career games and became the 49th Wolverine to reach 1,000 career points — as his 1,070 points rank 43rd all-time. A two-time team captain, he was an All-Big Ten selection in 2014 and averaged 10.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Earlier this season he recorded just the fourth triple-double in U-M history with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Northern Kentucky (Dec. 15).
As a freshman, he played in 33 games and helped U-M reach the Final Four for the first time in 20 years as well as tie the school record for wins (31). LeVert helped guide U-M to a second straight Elite Eight appearance as a sophomore as the Wolverines lost on a last-second shot to Kentucky to miss a return trip to the Final Four. That same season, he played in all 37 games and helped the Maize and Blue to its first outright Big Ten title in 28 years. Last season, LeVert played in 18 games before breaking his left foot against Northwestern (Jan. 17, 2015), ending his season with 14 games remaining.
Earlier this season (Dec. 11), fellow senior co-captain Spike Albrecht announced he would miss the remainder of the season to concentrate on rehab following double hip surgery. Both Wolverine seniors will be honored Saturday (March 5) in a pregame ceremony against Iowa.