Michigan announces Caris LeVert will miss remainder of season

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan senior guard Caris LeVert will not return this season. The 6-foot-7 guard will focus on getting healthy while recovering from a lower left leg injury suffered in Michigan’s Big Ten season opener.

LeVert will miss 26 of his final 36 regular season Big Ten games after injuries ended his junior and senior seasons early. He’s projected as a late first or early second round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but will be battling questions about his health after suffering injuries in his last three seasons.

Before the injury, LeVert led Michigan in points, rebounds and assists per game.

Here’s the full University of Michigan Press Release:

University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach John Beilein announced today (Tuesday, March 1) senior co-captain Caris LeVert will sit out the remainder of the season to concentrate on his continued recovery after suffering a lower left leg injury at the end of December.

“After some prayer and talking it over with my family, Coach Beilein and the medical staff, we all feel it is best for me to concentrate on getting fully healthy,” said LeVert. “There is still some discomfort that does not allow me to help this team the way I want.”

“I am so thankful for what Coach Beilein, the assistants and the medical staff have done for me during my collegiate career and in particular while I have dealt with these injuries.

“U-M has provided me the chance to live my dream of playing college basketball and to earn a Michigan degree. There are really no words to express my gratitude for that as well as my love for all my teammates. I am so blessed to be part of this wonderful university and will forever represent the Maize and Blue.”

“This has been a tough two months for Caris,” said Beilein. “He has worked so hard to get back to this point, and Caris’ long-term health is what is most important.

“Caris has been a pleasure to coach; he is a wonderful young man with a brilliant future. I am confident he will have a very successful professional career because his talent, attitude, quickness and versatility make every team better.

“He has always carried himself and handled these situations with such class and a level of maturity that is unmatched. This is not how he wanted to finish his career here; however, we know he can hold his head high for how he has represented this great university and our basketball program.”

LeVert played in 103 career games and became the 49th Wolverine to reach 1,000 career points — as his 1,070 points rank 43rd all-time. A two-time team captain, he was an All-Big Ten selection in 2014 and averaged 10.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Earlier this season he recorded just the fourth triple-double in U-M history with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Northern Kentucky (Dec. 15).

As a freshman, he played in 33 games and helped U-M reach the Final Four for the first time in 20 years as well as tie the school record for wins (31). LeVert helped guide U-M to a second straight Elite Eight appearance as a sophomore as the Wolverines lost on a last-second shot to Kentucky to miss a return trip to the Final Four. That same season, he played in all 37 games and helped the Maize and Blue to its first outright Big Ten title in 28 years. Last season, LeVert played in 18 games before breaking his left foot against Northwestern (Jan. 17, 2015), ending his season with 14 games remaining.

Earlier this season (Dec. 11), fellow senior co-captain Spike Albrecht announced he would miss the remainder of the season to concentrate on rehab following double hip surgery. Both Wolverine seniors will be honored Saturday (March 5) in a pregame ceremony against Iowa.

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  • gobluemd16

    Had been anticipated, but still incredibly sad for both Caris and the team. Feel so bad that he came back to school and his senior year went this way. Hoping for his (and Spike’s) full recovery and that he enjoys a healthy and successful professional career.

  • This has been one of the weirdest injuries I can remember. It seems like very game since December has been a will he/won’t he play. Why have they been so vague about the injury?

    • robpollard

      That is a mystery, truly. Beilein is going to have a busy off-season — beyond (likely) revamping his staff to get improved defense and all the usual work, he needs to do a review of this situation to a) figure out specific procedures about how to communicate injury info so it is useful to the press & fans but also doesn’t, unintentionally, put the player in a bad situation and b) figure out why, if it can be determined, there have been so many season-long/season-ending injuries these past few years.

      • MAZS

        Six (B10) seasons lost in the past 3 years, including the likelihood that Mcgary would have returned, but for the suspension–(Mcgary 2014, McGary-Levert-Walton 2015, Levert-Albrecht 2016). Talk about “what-ifs”. That is either some terrible bad luck and/or something isn’t right about training/rehab.

    • yinkadoubledare

      My guess is that it’s one of those “stress reaction” type injuries. You can’t just take an x-ray and see it’s healed like a break, it generally only goes away with rest, and the name makes it sound like it’s not serious at all so best not to talk about it in the media or he’d take a whole lot of garbage from people who aren’t familiar with them.

      I’m not a doctor, but this has popped up in sports over the years enough that it’s my best guess. If it were broken, he wouldn’t have been day-to-day like this (and they probably would have said it was broken), and if it were some sort of severe sprain that’s not the kind of thing that teams don’t just say what it is, because people are familiar with those, including difference between a regular and a high-ankle one.

  • MrLG

    Since he is now officially out for the season, it would have been nice if they would tell us what the freaking injury was. Thumbs down on the way this was handled (but I still love John Beilein).

  • Fab 5 Legends

    hope he still gets drafted in late first rd or early 2nd round…this definitely hurt his nba stock…he did seem off against Purdue when he stepped onto the court…this was forthcoming a long time ago…Levert has to think about his future and possibly being an NBA player…i really don’t think he would make as much of a difference as we think he would…he is by far our best player but at this point his chemisty might be off with the rest of the team…i do remember our early season struggles with Levert on the floor and there was plenty of confusion goin on….if he maintained his health and didnt get injuried then i think we would be in a better position consider his skill…but it would still not have solved our defense problems (even though Levert is a solid defender), downlow problems, and our weak mentality when we get down 14+ points (jacking up shots)

  • snowfordays

    With, or without LeVert, this team lacks the gritty effort needed to compensate for the lack of talent and competitiveness. There is no Zack Novak on this team. It seems that as soon as the shots stop falling, the defense turns into Swiss cheese. All the easy layups being allowed used to be met with a fired up player taking a charge. Defense, defense, defense.
    Come on, Michigan, get your collective heads in the game and guard somebody!!

    • bobohle

      Don’t forget to mention easy layups missed also.

      • malcolm bolt

        Another great intangible that is excused quite often. These same guys missed layups last year and this year. I hope they can learn to make them next year.

      • ChathaM

        Eh, I don’t know about that. In last night’s IU-Iowa game, there were a couple of missed layups by both sides. College players miss layups.

    • malcolm bolt

      Great comment. It is time to minimize excuses for the program and look at the intangibles.

      • rlcBlue

        While they’re looking at the intangibles they should also listen to the invisibles and smell the inaudibles.

  • Chillax

    So is Spike a done deal as well. I thought I was seeing inklings of a potential red shirt.

  • bobohle

    I truly believe they have to look at the stress and strain of the Camp Sanderson program. I’ve heard several reports that working out too much can cause stress injuries. Also may be why fatigued.

    • Chillax

      For sure…rest and eating appropriately is just as important as working out. The back injuries I expect with lifting oly style (irvin and I think mcgary might have gotten this). I think levert was an in game injury and he just can’t keep it healthy. And spike just got the raw end of genetics. Just a perfect storm of injuries. So frustrating. I am happy the way the team is still alive even after losing both senior captains for the year. It bodes well for next year.

      • Irvin definitely didn’t hurt his back lifting, afaik it was in an open gym setting back home taking a bad fall.

        Hard to say about LeVert’s injuries.. troubling with three straight injuries to the same area, but I think around the foot area that can sometimes be common.

        • Chillax

          Man what kind of fall did he take?? Didn’t he have back surgery?

    • ChathaM

      I doubt that you’ve “heard” anything that Sanderson hasn’t heard. How can you think that a basketball strength staff doesn’t know these things, and tailor their program accordingly? There’s a reason players like Morgan, Stauskas, and Hardaway work out with Sanderson in Ann Arbor during the off-season. There’s a reason Beilein gives guys entire days off during the season. We’re talking about experts in their fields here. These guys know exactly what they’re doing.

      • bobohle

        Beilein has stated in a press conference himself that they were going to look at how they train in the off season. Lighten up.

        • ChathaM

          Jeez, maybe they don’t know what they’re doing. I probably give them too much credit at times.

          • bobohle

            Didn’t say they don’t. The players could be over doing it on their own.

      • GTFOmycourt

        “I doubt that you’ve “heard” anything that Sanderson hasn’t heard”.

        “Authorities” get it wrong all the time. The fact that the philosophy/ science of weight training change so much, and varies from trainer to trainer, even over the course of the last 50 years, tells you that there is a huge **experimental** element involved when we are trying to maximize the performance of an athlete. Maybe the guys are over-doing it, maybe not. An honest re-evaluation of our training program is not a bad thing at all.

        • bobohle


    • Champswest

      His injury occurred from contact during a game. Didn’t happen in the weight room. If it is a training issue, wouldn’t other UM players that have gone through the same training also be experiencing foot problems?

      • bobohle

        Not speaking of Caris specifically. Speaking in general of stamina and other injuries also such as McGary and Irvin.

  • Timothy David

    Tough… just tough. Wish all the best for Caris going forward.