A thumb injury will sideline Illinois junior guard Kendrick Nunn for eight weeks, the school announced Tuesday. The Chicago native will have surgery Wednesday after injuring a ligament in his left thumb last week.
Nunn averaged 11.1 points last season and is the team’s second-best returning scorer.
Illinois has dealt with several injuries over the offseason, adding lots of question marks to a promising roster.
Senior guard Tracy Abrams tore his left Achilles tendon in July after missing the entire 2014-15 season with a torn ACL. He will miss all of this season as well.
Sophomore forward Leron Black will be out at least two more weeks after having surgery earlier this month to repair a torn meniscus.
Freshman guard Jalen Coleman-Lands should recover from a stress fracture in his left leg in time for the start of the season, but the youngster has missed valuable preseason time.
Junior guard Jaylon Tate has not been participating in practice following a concussion.
“When I got out of bed this morning, I tried to make sure I didn’t trip over anything between the walk from the hotel room down the elevator here to the press conference,” coach John Groce joked last Thursday at Big Ten Media Day. “It just is what it is. We talk about next-man-up philosophy a lot.”
The Illini open the season Nov. 13 against reigning Atlantic Sun champion North Florida.