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Indiana basketball guard Xavier Johnson reveals injury that kept him out over a month



Indiana basketball guard Xavier Johnson
Indiana basketball point guard Xavier Johnson reveled after the Ohio State win what injury caused him to miss over a month of the season. (Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Indiana basketball point guard Xavier Johnson has played just two games since returning from an injury that kept him out for over a month.

He returned on Wednesday against Nebraska for the first time since the first half against Harvard on Nov. 26. Saturday against Ohio State was his second game back — and he revealed after the game what had kept him out.

“It’s been challenging. A lot of people don’t know I had a crack in my foot that kept me away from basketball,” Johnson explained postgame. “The month has been challenging. I tried to stay in it with my teammates, conditioning up. Just tried to be a positive impact on the team even though I’m not playing.”

Johnson has dealt with numerous foot injuries over his nearly three seasons in Bloomington. Last year, Johnson played in just 11 games due to a broken foot that he suffered against Kansas on Dec. 17.

This season, Johnson missed seven straight games with his foot injury.

Johnson’s first two games back have been a mixed bag. On Wednesday against Nebraska, he went scoreless in 15 minutes, with three assists and four turnovers. He turned around and helped lift Indiana to a massive 71-65 win on Saturday against Ohio State, scoring 18 points on 4-of-9 from the field with three assists and zero turnovers in 34 minutes.

“He was a little irritated at me (for Nebraska’s minutes), and I get that, because only played him 14 minutes. His 14 minutes were awful. I don’t care how you look at it, you get 14 minutes, you got to be positive, do some things to help us win the game. He didn’t do that,” Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson said. “Today I told him at would shootaround I was going to play him, let him loose. I thought he was huge tonight.”

“He’s been working hard every single day. He’s hungry for this and we’re counting on him,” Indiana basketball guard CJ Gunn said postgame. “Even though he was out with his injury we were here to pick him up. He’s our captain, our guard, so we all look to him for leadership, and he’s done an absolutely amazing role doing that.

“He is going to help us lead us through this Big Ten and hopefully win the championship.”

Johnson is now averaging 10.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent overall and 58.3 percent on 3s.

SEE ALSO: ‘I was definitely motivated’: Indiana basketball guard Xavier Johnson responds in major way as his importance was highlighted in massive win over OSU

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.