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Zion Williamson expected to play in ACC tournament, per Coach K

Williamson hasn’t played since spraining his knee against North Carolina on Feb. 20.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The first meeting of Duke and North Carolina this season got off to a rough start when Zion Williamson was taken out of the game in the opening minute with a knee injury. As Williamson drove the ball into the teeth of the Tar Heel defense, his left foot busted out of his shoe and he went down clutching his right knee. Duke has listed him as day-to-day.

Williamson did not return. Here’s a look at the play, which happened just 33 seconds into the game.

“He broke his shoe with his own foot,” said ESPN broadcaster Dan Shulman.

The injury is thankfully just a Grade 1 knee sprain, and the team listed him as day-to-day. Williamson would miss the rest of the regular season for Duke, a five-game stretch where the team went 3-2 in his absence.

Williamson is expected to return in the ACC tournament, according to Coach K.

This is what Williamson’s shoe looked like after the play:

Getty Images

Early in the game, any hope that Williamson might return was quickly squashed.

From pre-game:

Williamson, the likely No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, on the season is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds, shooting 68 percent from the field.

At the start of the second half, Maria Taylor on ESPN said on Williamson, “He’s in the back still in the training room with his family, watching on TV. I’m told he did not go into the locker room [at halftime] as the rest of the team went in to hear from Coach K.”

North Carolina prevailed in the game, winning 88-72 at Duke.