AMES — No. 2 Iowa State will have to find a way to live without one its emotional leaders on the court.
Senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long will be out for the remainder of the season and seek a medical red-shirt, the team announced Tuesday. Mitrou-Long underwent arthroscopic surgery on both hips during the offseason and has dealt with chronic pain and soreness since the second procedure in April.
“Naz came to me recently and explained his desire to sit out the remainder of this season and seek a medical hardship,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said in a release. “We support his decision as he works to get back to where he was physically prior to the injury. Naz is a terrific person and an important part of our team both on and off the court. I’m confident his teammates will come together and respond to this in a positive manner.”
Mitrou-Long played in the first eight games this season and averaged 12.0 points in 31.6 minutes. He played 38 minutes in a win against Iowa, but had just six points on 3-for-13 shooting and decided to sit out Sunday against Arkansas-Pine Bluff to rest his hips in hopes he would return after that point.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for me,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “As a player, there is nothing you want more than to help your team be successful. Following the surgery, I pushed myself incredibly hard to be ready for the season opener. As I’ve said before, I knew I might not be 100 percent, but I wanted to give it a go for my team. With that said, I feel the need to take time off to allow myself to rehab with our training staff to get back to where I can perform at my peak level on the basketball court.
“I appreciate the support of Coach Prohm and my teammates, as well as the ISU medical staff. I am looking forward to cheering on my teammates and coaches for the rest of what I know will be an exciting season. Those guys are my family and I know we will do great.”
Everything happens for a reason. I believe in this team & will be there every step of the way. I Love you, Cyclone Nation. #Believe
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— Nazareth Mitrou-Long (@NazzyJML) December 15, 2015
Iowa State plays Northern Iowa on Saturday at the Big Four Classic in Des Moines. Red-shirt junior Deonte Burton becomes eligible against the Panthers after sitting out since last season as a mid-year transfer to bolster ISU depth
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