His right foot encased in a walking boot and his body supported by crutches, Georgia Tech forward Marcus Georges-Hunt was taking his season-ending injury in stride Friday.
Georges-Hunt was in good spirits at Tech’s Zelnak Basketball Center, two days after x-rays revealed that he had fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot in the Yellow Jackets’ loss Tuesday to North Carolina. The injury ended his season in Tech’s final regular-season game.
“I felt like it happened at the right time,” Georges-Hunt said. “If it was going to happen, (better) towards the end of the season, not at the middle or the beginning. Everything happens for a reason, I told (coach Brian Gregory). I guess it was my time to get hurt.”
The Jackets’ leading scorer at 13.6 points per game, Georges-Hunt will travel with the team to the ACC tournament next week in Greensboro, N.C., and then have surgery to repair the fracture March 16, the first day of Tech’s spring break. The timing will enable him to spend his first week of recovery with family. The rehabilitation is expected to last eight to 12 weeks, Gregory said.
“We’ll take it slow, obviously, and make sure he’s in position to have a great summer,” Gregory said.
Georges-Hunt suffered the injury running upcourt about three minutes into the game against the Tar Heels.
“I was in full stride and (UNC guard) Marcus Paige stole it and I guess I was turning around,” Georges-Hunt said. “That’s when I felt it crack.”
While he acknowledged that the upcoming ACC tournament was something that he has worked for since the offseason, Georges-Hunt was taking the injury about as well as one could hope.
“I’ll just sit back and learn from it, and obviously God is trying to tell me something,” he said. “That’s how I look at it. It’s positive.”
Meanwhile, Georges-Hunt’s backup, forward Quinton Stephens, was hopeful that he will be able to play in Tuesday’s first-round game. Stephens sat out of the North Carolina game after suffering an abdominal strain in the loss to Clemson last Saturday.
“I think I probably will be (available),” Stephens said. “Just keep resting it. Gradually, every day it’s getting better a little bit better. Some days, it can get really tight.”
Stephens called Georges-Hunt “a great player” and said that the team will need a big lift without him in the lineup.
“Guys just have to step up,” he said. “That’s what our program’s always been about, guys being ready.”
Tech will play either Boston College or Wake Forest in the first-round game on Tuesday. The Jackets will play Boston College at 1 p.m. if Miami defeats Virginia Tech Saturday, which would give them the No. 13 seed against the No. 12 Eagles. If Virginia Tech defeats Miami, then the Jackets and Hokies will both finish at 3-15 and Georgia Tech would take the No. 14 seed and play No. 11 seed Wake Forest by virtue of having lost to Virginia Tech. If Wake Forest were to beat Boston College, that would create a three-way tie at 3-15 among Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Boston College, but the Jackets would still take the No. 14 seed since they lost to both teams. The 11-14 game is at 3 p.m.