Northwestern junior guard JerShon Cobb has been ruled out for an indefinite period of time with a foot injury, a source told InsideNU Saturday.
With only four regular season games remaining – including Saturday’s contest with Indiana – there is a real possibility that Cobb will miss the rest of the season, as well as the Big Ten tournament and any potential postseason tournament.
If the injury is in fact season-ending, Cobb’s will finish 2013/14 with averages of 12.2 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game, all career bests.
The loss is a serious one for Northwestern, which already struggles with depth, even if Cobb is able to return this season. Cobb had played more than 30 minutes in all but one Big Ten game, and was NU’s primary ball handler.
Dave Sobolewski’s role figures to increase significantly in Cobb’s absence. Tre Demps will also likely spend some time in the point guard role, with James Montgomery III, who saw limited minutes earlier in the season as a defensive specialist, also possibly in line for a slight uptick in playing time.
However, it'll be up to the whole rotation to fill Cobb's role, both in terms of scoring and minutes played. The Wildcats will go into Saturday's game with just seven scholarship players (Nikola Cerina will be serving a one game suspension).
Cobb has struggled with injuries throughout his Northwestern career. He missed seven games in 2010/11, his freshman season, due to injury. Then, following offseason hip surgery, Cobb, hampered by knee tendonitis and leg pain, missed 12 games. And earlier this season, Cobb missed two consecutive contests in December with a left ankle ailment.
The junior guard also missed the entire 2012/13 season due to suspension.
Some of Cobb’s past injuries have persisted over prolonged periods of time. His recovery will therefore be an important story to follow, not only between now and this season's conclusion, but, if it is serious, throughout the offseason. He still has one year of eligibility remaining, and will likely enter next year as Northwestern’s top returning scorer.
We will have more updates on Cobb's status as they become available.