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What does Kyle Young’s upcoming appendix surgery mean for Ohio State?

The Ohio State forward will likely undergo an appendectomy surgery Monday and will be out indefinitely

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Ohio State Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Following Sunday afternoon’s loss to the No. 22 West Virginia Mountaineers, it was revealed that Ohio State’s Kyle Young, who scored two points and pulled down 11 rebounds, was dealing with “flu-like symptoms” before and after the game, including vomiting.

However, during head coach Chris Holtmann’s post-game news conference, team officials informed Holtmann that the pain was most likely due to an infection of his appendix, which requires surgery — an appendectomy — to resolve.

While the details of Young’s individual case are still not known, recovery from an appendectomy typically takes two to three weeks. However, getting back to game speed and full strength may take Young additional time after that.

Young played 22 minutes Sunday, but did not appear to be playing with the same aggression and strength that he typically does, especially in the paint for the Buckeyes. Considering the amount of pain that accompanies an aggravation of the appendix, the fact that he played at all on Sunday is a testament to just how tough of a player Young is.

If he misses the standard three weeks, Young would miss the Buckeyes’ next five games, which are:

  • Wisconsin on January 3
  • at No. 13 Maryland on January 7
  • at Indiana on January 11
  • Nebraska on January 14
  • at No. 20 Penn State on January 18
NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Young, who last week I talked about as being the potential team MVP for Ohio State, is averaging 8.8 points per game to go along with 6.4 rebounds and an assist per game. Young is 15th in the Big Ten in rebounding, and his shooting percentage would be far and away the tops in the league if he had enough attempts to qualify. With him sidelined for the foreseeable future, look for Chris Holtmann to plug Duane Washington Jr. back into the starting lineup and run a three-guard starting five.

Additionally, Holtmann could use freshman E.J. Liddell to fill the hole that an absent Young creates in the front court. Liddell, who has played well this season but looked a bit overwhelmed against West Virginia, could replace the size and rebounds Young typically provides, but might not be able to sustain the minutes that Young plays.

While the Buckeyes can try to replace the statistics and size that Young provides, there will be no replacing the toughness and knack for big plays that he brings every single game. We wish Kyle a speedy recovery and cannot wait to see him back on the floor for the Buckeyes.