The Norman Transcript

February 15, 2013

Hield is keeping hopes up for return to court

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still getting used to the crutches. The medical boot on his right leg has quickly become a burden he could do without.

The ear-to-ear grin, however, was still a constant. The broken bone he suffered in his right foot Monday night against TCU hasn’t taken that away. It got even wider when asked what he was going to do while his broken foot healed for the next four weeks.

“You mean three weeks?” Hield said. “I’m gonna be back quick.”

When Hield returns will be up to the Sooners’ medical staff. The initial prognosis after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot was for the freshman guard to miss four to six weeks. It remained the same after Hield underwent surgery on Tuesday. Under that time frame, Hield could be on the sidelines for the rest of the regular season or the rest of the season.

Hield was looking for a silver lining and found one in that the injury, as it was explained to him, wasn’t a fluke.

“My leg had been sore for about a week. The doctor said it was just a matter of time before it snapped,” he said. “I’m glad it’s happened and now. It turned out to be a good deal for me.”

How OU will adjust to his absence will have a major impact on how much of the season is left by the time he’s able to return.

The Sooners (16-7, 7-4 Big 12) have seven conference games remaining, beginning with their 12:30 p.m. Saturday showdown with No. 17 Oklahoma State (18-5, 8-3) at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

OU coach Lon Kruger said Thursday that freshman guard Je’lon Hornbeak will take Hield’s spot in the starting lineup as OU heads forward. Forward Cameron Clark was also get additional minutes.

Hield, however, doesn’t see his role changing over the next couple of weeks. He’ll be rehabbing the injury with the hope of getting back on the floor as soon as possible.

“I’m gonna continue to do whatever I can do to make my team and teammates better,” Hield said.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

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