Truth is stranger than fiction. Earlier today, Michigan State forward Branden Dawson accidentally broke his hand by banging it on a table in frustration while reviewing film. The springy, talented forward will undergo surgery tonight and will miss at least four weeks of conference play.
There is never a good time to miss a starter that averages over 10 points and 8 rebounds per game, but now is an especially bad time for the Spartans to lose one of their top players. Michigan State is already thin up front because Adreian Payne is out of the lineup dealing with plantar fasciitis. Keith Appling hasn't complained of any ailments, but he appeared slowed by a bad back against Indiana earlier this week.
Michigan State is also heading into a rough stretch of their schedule. In the next five weeks they'll face Michigan at home, travel to Iowa, play Georgetown at a neutral site, trip to the Kohl Center to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. Dawson may or may not be ready to return by the time the Spartans visit Mackey Arena to face Purdue and take a return trip to face the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor. Though the Spartans are currently undefeated in conference play, they face a number of contenders in the coming weeks and how the Spartans respond to this injury will shape the conference title race going down the stretch.