Duke's Paulus out indefinitely with broken bone in foot

Updated: October 18, 2006, 1:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Duke point guard Greg Paulus has a break in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot and will be out of action indefinitely.

The sophomore injured his left foot Saturday, the second day of practice, team spokesman Jon Jackson said. Paulus apparently first injured the foot during high school, and reaggravated it over the weekend.

Paulus, who was re-evaluated at the Duke University Medical Center on Monday, is expected to undergo a treatment plan that doesn't require surgery. There is no timetable for his return, but he is expected to make a full recovery through rehabilitation.

"This is an unfortunate injury but Greg is an extremely tough individual and we expect him to make a full recovery," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Our medical staff will evaluate Greg's progress continuously and he will return to action when the foot is fully healed."

While Paulus is out, the Blue Devils will use a committee of players handling the ball: forward Josh McRoberts, wings DeMarcus Nelson and Jon Scheyer and guard Gerald Henderson. Scheyer and Henderson are freshmen.

The injury to Paulus is similar to what befell Carlos Boozer during his Duke career.

Paulus, an ACC all-freshman team honoree last season, averaged 6.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game a year ago while starting 33 of 36 games. He joined Ed Cota (North Carolina, 1997), Jeff Jones (Virginia, 1979) and Kenny Anderson (Georgia Tech, 1990), as the only players to lead the ACC in assists as freshmen. Paulus also set a Duke freshman record with 15 assists in a 104-77 win over Valparaiso on Dec. 18.

McRoberts, an ACC all-freshman team and ACC all-tournament second team selection in 2006, posted the team's top field goal percentage -- 60.5 percent -- last season. He was also third on the team in scoring at 8.7 points per game and second in blocked shots (46) and rebounding (5.3 rpg.).

Losing Paulus for a lengthy period would be a serious blow for a young team already looking for leadership. Paulus joined McRoberts as the first sophomores in program history to be selected as team captains, while fellow captain Nelson is the team's lone upperclassman on scholarship.

Nelson, one of three upperclassman on the Duke roster, is coming off an injury-plagued sophomore campaign. He averaged 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while playing in 24 games, including seven starts. Nelson shot 45.2 percent from the field and 41.0 percent from 3-point range.

The Blue Devils open the 2006-07 season Nov. 12 at home against Columbia.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.