Memphis' Antonio Barton out 4-6 weeks with foot fracture

USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers' sixth man has a chance to return before the season ends after being diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right foot on Monday morning.

Memphis Tigers guard Antonio Barton has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right food and will miss an estimated four to six weeks, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported on Monday.

The junior guard averages 6.2 points and about 19 minutes per game for the Tigers, who are in the midst of one of their best seasons since John Calipari left. The Tigers have won 14 straight since losing to Louisville on Dec. 15.

Barton's injury won't require surgery as originally feared, so there is a chance he can return before the season ends. The Conference USA tournament starts on March 13, just a shade over four weeks from now. If his foot takes longer to heal, six weeks would pass right around the third round of the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers won't necessarily miss Barton's scoring production in his absence, but the guard is a consistent contributor off the bench with the ability to score in bunches. He's the team's sixth man in terms of minutes off the bench, and just recently scored a team-high 16 points in 18 minutes in a 94-64 win over Tulsa on Feb. 2.

Barton suffered a bone bruise and a mid-foot sprain last year, causing him to miss one game.

Memphis plays the University of Central Florida on Wednesday, and a win would go a long way in separating the Tigers from the rest of the pack in Conference USA.

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