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Indiana basketball releases injury report ahead of matchup with Auburn



Indiana basketball
The Indiana basketball program released its injury report ahead of its matchup against Auburn on Saturday afternoon. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Indiana basketball program hits the hardwood for game number eight of the 2023-24 season on Saturday afternoon and released its official injury report this morning.

The Big Ten began with its weekly availability report for football this season and announced that it would be conducting the same schedule with basketball. It was announced that programs will have to release their injury reports three hours before tip.

For Indiana, its injury report listed guard Xavier Johnson, Kel’el Ware, Malik Reneau, Anthony Walker and CJ Gunn as questionable.

Johnson exited Indiana’s win over Harvard on Sunday shortly before halftime. He tried warming up before the second half but was unable to go. He missed Indiana basketball’s Big Ten opener against Maryland on Friday.

Johnson was wearing a boot.

“I don’t know yet,” Said Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson when asked about Johnson on Thursday. “Right now he’s rehabbing, and hopefully he’ll be back here in the near future. That’s all I can give you right now.”

He is averaging 10.5 points, 2.3 assists and is shooting 48.6 percent from the field in six games this year. He is tied for the team-lead in three-point shooting at 5-of-10 this year.

Johnson, who played in just 11 games last season due to a broken foot, was fully healthy to begin this year. In Indiana’s win over Wright State two weeks ago, he rolled his ankle just before the final buzzer. He’s been dealing with an ankle/calf injury ever since.

Johnson’s future timeline is still to be determined. It is not expected that he will play today against Auburn, however.

Kel’el Ware is showing up on the availability report for the first time this season. He is averaging 17.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 blocks per game and shooting 63.9 percent from the floor.

Ware has been fantastic all season — clearly Indiana’s best and most valuable player.

“Just pushing him,” Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson said last week “I mean, again, I’m not knocking where he’s been, the coaches that coached him, but I coach a different way. You know, I mean, that’s not even knowing how the other coaches coach when they’re in practice. You have to come to practice with energy. You have to play hard. That was a knock on him. He is starting to figure that part of it out. So far this young season he’s been playing well for us.”

Ware’s front court partner, Malik Reneau has shown up on the availability report throughout the season. He had been dealing with a back injury that caused him to miss some time during Indiana’s win over Harvard two weeks ago.

Reneau is averaging 14.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

Another front court player who is listed is Anthony Walker. Walker has been a terrific addition for Indiana off of the bench.

He is averaging 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. In his last four games, however, he’s taken those averages up to 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and is shooting 65 percent from the floor.

Gunn is the other backcourt player listed alongside Xavier Johnson.

Gunn was dealing with an illness heading into Tuesday’s win over Michigan — when he was also listed on the availability report. He mentioned postgame against Michigan that he did not practice leading up to that game.

Gunn had his best performance of his Indiana career, however. He had eight points and was 2-of-3 from three. He also added four steals.

The other scholarship player listed on the injury report is Jakai Newton, a four-star freshman who had knee surgery this offseason to clean up a previous surgery he had last winter. He continues to be out for the foreseeable future.

“He’s starting to move around a little bit. He ran a little bit on the treadmill. He’s been able to come out and walk through and hasn’t done a whole lot of the walk-through stuff but the stretching and the warm-up stuff prior to us actually getting going on the court,” Woodson said earlier this fall. ” … I think he’s moving in the right direction. How quickly he comes back, only time will tell. And then we’ve got to make a decision on what we’re going to do with him; is he healthy enough to play when he comes back? If not, then you might have to think about redshirting and things of that nature.

“We haven’t even talked about that. But, I mean, that’s on the back burner if that may occur. So we’ve just got to let nature take its course.”

Indiana faces Auburn at 2:00 pm ET on ESPN2.

SEE ALSO: ‘Indiana has the best front line in the Big Ten’: Indiana basketball set to face off with Auburn in résumé-building non-conference matchup

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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.