George Mason's Justin Kier has reinjured a stress fracture in his right foot that will cause him to miss another significant chunk of the season.
The injury could be season-ending, but the best-case scenario for the Patriots' lone senior is to be able to return in early March, according to Steven Goff of the Washington Post. It will force the guard to have surgery to repair the injury.
Kier, the team's leading scorer last season, already missed the first portion of the year. The first stress fracture, which occurred in the offseason, sidelined Kier for the first six games of the year. He missed an additional game in December for an unrelated injury.
Coming back from the initial setback, Kier was slowly reintroduced into a young George Mason squad that has climbed to a 12-4 record on the year. The past two games saw Kier start for the first time this season, missing only three minutes of action combined and averaging 14.5 points on 50% shooting and 45% from 3-point range.
“I am absolutely heartbroken for Justin,” head coach Dave Paulsen said in a release. “In my 26 years as a head coach, I have never had a better leader or teammate. … To reinjure his foot at this time doesn’t seem fair. Everyone involved with our program will support and encourage Justin as he attacks yet another comeback.”
Up until this season, Kier had not missed a single game in his George Mason career. He was named a starter as a freshman and has climbed to 27th on the program's all-time scoring list. There is a chance that he has played his final minutes in the Green and Gold.
While the Patriots are 6-1 without Kier, this will hinder the team's chances in the Atlantic 10. All those games - minus their loss to Maryland - were only classified as Quadrant 3 and 4 games. In the preseason, they were selected to finish ninth in the conference.
George Mason plays George Washington on Wednesday night for their first conference game without Kier.
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