USC Men's Basketball

Frank Martin provides update on South Carolina’s injured starters

Frank Martin recaps loss to Virginia

Frank Martin recaps South Carolina's 69-52 loss to Virginia at Colonial Life Arena Wednesday Dec. 19, 2018, in Columbia, SC.
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Frank Martin recaps South Carolina's 69-52 loss to Virginia at Colonial Life Arena Wednesday Dec. 19, 2018, in Columbia, SC.

South Carolina was down two starters for its loss to No. 3 Virginia — and T.J. Moss and Maik Kotsar might be sidelined for a while.

Both injuries — Moss, a high ankle sprain, and Kotsar, a concussion — are out “indefinitely,” according to USC.

Frank Martin confirmed Wednesday night that the freshman guard and junior forward were banged up in recent practices.

“T.J. was just trying to make a play,” said the Carolina coach. “Guy was in open court, trying to drive. And guys are trying to get inside the ball, just playing hard. And someone fell and his leg got trapped. And it’s a high ankle sprain. That goes for a while.”

Moss missed the first two games of this season with a sprained foot. He’s averaging 6.3 points and 1.9 assists per game. Kotsar, a three-year starter, is averaging 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds a game.

Martin said Kotsar got hurt in a rebounding drill.

“He took an accidental elbow to the bridge of his nose,” Martin said.

Kotsar seems likely to return before Moss. The Gamecocks (4-6) host Clemson (8-3) on Saturday.

“I wish I had an answer for (Kotsar’s timeline),” Martin said. “That’s going to be part of my new list of stuff that we gotta cover in recruiting. I gotta get them to go in gyms and get punched in the face and see who gets concussed and who doesn’t.”

The latter part of that answer refers to Duke’s Zion Williamson quick recovery after taking an elbow to the head Tuesday against Princeton.

“I was sitting there watching the Duke game last night,” Martin said, “and our stuff went down. And Zion, blood flow and everything, was a lot more intense then our guy. But that dude’s made out of steel and went back out. My guy’s concussed and he’ll be out for who knows, 97 days or something. I have no idea.

“I don’t mess with injuries. We have great doctors here. We have an unbelievable trainer.”

Moss, on crutches watched Wednesday’s game from USC’s bench. Kotsar stayed home for precautionary reasons.

Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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