It was bad news for Oregon on Saturday when the Ducks confirmed they would forge ahead this postseason without star senior Chris Boucher. The announcement came a day after the 6-foot-10 forward injured his left knee during their 73-65 victory over California in a Pac-12 tournament semifinal game.
“An MRI on Saturday confirmed that Boucher sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which will require surgery at a later date,” the team said in a statement (via USA Today’s George Schroeder).
The injury happened late in the first half when Boucher landed awkwardly on his leg after attempting a rebound.
Wondering if this the play Boucher got hurt on.. You can see him come down awkwardly on right knee. pic.twitter.com/WaNSRegPGq
— Jonathan Hawthorne (@Jon_Hawthorne) March 12, 2017
Despite the injury, Boucher stayed in the game, playing a total of 24 minute, to rack up 10 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. His effort impressed both teammates and fans, who expressed their gratitude to Boucher’s contributions to the team on Saturday on social media.
— Krissy Gilbertson (@Kgilbertson13) March 12, 2017
Boucher, who led the Pac-12 in blocked shots, is attending Saturday night’s conference tournament final in Las Vegas as Oregon takes on Arizona. He was able to walk into the arena unassisted, but appeared to have a limp.
Here is Chris Boucher walking into the arena. Clear limp pic.twitter.com/8IwtH92wyp
— Matt Prehm (@Prehmmr247) March 12, 2017
As for Boucher’s basketball future, the college star vowed in an Instagram post on Saturday that he’d “be back.”
“God won’t let me hang,” he said.
Boucher’s name has been tossed around ahead of the 2017 NBA draft with many believing he could go in the second round. It’s unclear how his impending surgery will affect his stock.
Boucher’s career at Oregon has been impressive since he transferred to the school last season, when he helped lead the Ducks to an Elite Eight finish in the NCAA tournament.
The Montreal native set a school record with 110 blocked shots while racking up 30 steals, 15 assists and averaging 12.1 points per game. This season has shaped as another formidable one for Boucher. He had 79 blocks, 12 steals, 13 assists and was averaging 11.8 points per game.