Former Notre Dame PF Bonzie Colson disputes report that his left foot is broken

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND – Hobbling down a Purcell Pavilion hallway early Wednesday afternoon on crutches with a walking boot on his left foot, former Notre Dame power forward Bonzie Colson wanted to make one point clear.

He made it clear multiple times in a matter of minutes.

His left foot, which he first feared was broken during Saturday’s loss to Penn State in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament game, has yet to be diagnosed as such.

“We’re still trying to figure it out,” Colson told the Tribune. “We’re getting a couple more opinions. Right now, it’s not broken.”

Colson was in Indianapolis on Tuesday getting another opinion on the injury.

Irish coach Mike Brey told the Tribune on Sunday morning – the day after the Notre Dame season ended – that the initial X-ray on Colson’s foot was “inconclusive.” Reached Wednesday afternoon, Brey said that he had not heard any additional news on a second or third opinion of the injury. Any further information about Colson’s health would be handled by Colson’s parents, who were with him Wednesday, or Colson’s future representation.

“I’m still going through the process of signing,” Colson said of choosing an agent.

Colson, who averaged team highs for points (19.7) and rebounds (10.1) in 21 games this season, also said that he’s unsure whether surgery is needed for the latest injury. He had a titanium screw inserted during an early-January procedure. Colson insisted many times after playing in games once he returned to the lineup Feb. 28 that his foot felt stronger than ever and that there was no issue with it, not even after scoring 24 points with 15 rebounds in the March 3 loss at No. 1 Virginia.

There was no lingering soreness. No pain. No problem. Until Saturday.

Going to block a shot late in the third quarter of the loss to Penn State, Colson landed awkwardly where the outside of his left foot angled inward. He immediately checked out of the game, left for the trainer’s room, returned with a bag of ice on his foot and then eventually checked back in for the final few seconds of his college career.

Colson said he knew right when he landed that it wasn’t good.

“It felt a little bit the same as the first time,” he said.

Further tests/X-rays/medial reviews eventually may reveal that Colson did re-break the same foot in the same place that caused him to miss 15 Atlantic Coast Conference games. But as of Wednesday afternoon, Colson reiterated that there’s been no definitive diagnosis.

Citing sources, Yahoo! Sports reported late Tuesday that Colson had broken his left foot again and that he was expected to be fully healed by the time NBA draft auditions/testing/workouts commence later this spring.

Should similar surgery and another two-month recovery timetable be required, it likely would mean that Colson would not be medically cleared to participate in the NBA pre-draft combine. That starts May 16 in Chicago.

Given Colson’s collegiate numbers – 1,634 points and 900 rebounds in 3,132 minutes with 34 double doubles – he likely would have opted not to participate in the combine’s five-on-five scrimmages in favor of individual testing and interviews with NBA teams.

Whether the 6-foot-6, 224-pound Colson eventually earns an invitation will be decided by the NBA in the coming weeks. The draft is June 21. Colson is projected as a possible second-round selection.

“Right now, I’m trying to get healthy,” Colson said, ‘and then it’s on to bigger and better things.”

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Former Notre Dame power forward Bonzie Colson is back on crutches and in a walking boot because of an injury to his left foot. Will surgery and a two-month recovery period again be required? Colson's still not sure. (Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA)