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Northwestern's John Shurna Battles Ankle Woes

Forward John Shurna has been an all-conference performer for Northwestern so far this season. The junior is averaging 21.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists for the Wildcats and boasts sizzling shooting percentages of 56% from the field and 58% from the perimeter.

A bum ankle has been slowing him down lately, however. After scoring north of 20 points in eight of Northwestern's first nine games of 2010-2011, Shurna has scored an average of only 11.6 per game in his last three contests against Mt. St. Mary's, Purdue and Michigan State. The Wildcats are 1-2 in those games.

According the the Chicago Tribune, he still isn't at 100%.

His left ankle injury is still serious enough that he uses a walking boot to get around campus, and the two-week-old sprain obviously played a role in his shooting 1 of 11 Monday night against Michigan State.

"I played pretty poorly and I let my teammates down," he said. "I (still) have to find ways to score, and I didn't do that."

The ankle continues to improve, but coach Bill Carmody said Shurna won't be 100 percent Thursday night when Northwestern visits Illinois.

Watching how Shurna performs with the injury Thursday night will be interesting to watch as Northwestern tries to grab its first conference win of the season against the Fighting Illini.