Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Duke F Dariq Whitehead, former five-star and projected lottery pick, out indefinitely with foot injury

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USATSI

Duke freshman Dariq Whitehead, the No. 2 recruit in the 2022 cycle and one of the crown jewels of the Blue Devils’ top-ranked incoming class, underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a fracture in his right foot, the program announced. Whitehead sustained the injury on Monday during a team workout. He is expected to immediately begin rehab, and though Duke anticipates he will play “this fall,” a timeline for his return was not laid out.

“We are happy to share that Dariq underwent a successful procedure today, and is in the best care with our doctors and rehabilitation staff,” said head coach Jon Scheyer in a statement. “We’re confident he’ll be back on the court soon.”  

Whitehead, a 6-foot-6 small forward who played at high school powerhouse Montverde Academy, has been viewed for nearly two years as a top-10 player in his class and a projected future first-round talent. He really made a jump over the last year, though, finishing as the No. 2 overall player in the 247Sports rankings for the 2022 cycle. 

Duke has gobs of talent to hold down the fort in Whitehead’s absence should be be unavailable when the season opens on Nov. 2 against Fayetteville State. The Blue Devils signed No. 1 overall recruit Dereck Lively II and No. 4 overall recruit Kyle Filipowski as headliners of their first full recruiting class under Scheyer since Mike Krzyzewski’s retirement. 

Still, Duke will need Whitehead back and at full strength to realize its title-contending potential. He’s a projected top-10 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and figures to be a plug-and-play starter at forward for a team that lost both AJ Griffin and Wendell Moore Jr. — both forward prospects — to the NBA Draft. 

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