The 12-0 Wyoming men’s basketball team will try to claim the best start in school history without help from its second leading scorer and starting senior guard.
UW announced Monday that Luke Martinez will miss Wyoming’s game against SMU on Wednesday and potentially more after he broke a bone in his right hand in an “off-campus incident” sometime Saturday evening.
Martinez, who has averaged 14.5 points and 30.5 minutes per game for Wyoming this season, broke the fourth metacarpal (right ring finger) on his right hand.
When asked Monday for details about how Martinez sustained an injury commonly called a “boxer’s fracture,” Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt — who learned of the injury Sunday morning — declined to go into specifics.
He declined to say whether or not Martinez had been injured in an altercation. He also declined to say whether or not local police had been involved in the incident.
“I can’t say,” Shyatt said. “I can’t say, nor am I comfortable saying. Because I absolutely don’t have any more details.”
The Albany County Courthouse was closed Monday, making arrest records unavailable. Phone calls to the Laramie Police Department were not returned.
“There’s nothing out there that I’m aware of that is of the nature of what you’re talking about,” Shyatt said in response to questions of an altercation and or legal trouble. “If it was at practice, I could be very specific. Beyond that, I would be like everyone else, second-guessing and speculating. And that’s not fair to Luke.”
Martinez — who has not been suspended, according to a team spokesman — was not available for comment before Wyoming’s practice Monday. How much time the guard will miss remains to be seen.
Shyatt said Martinez is currently wearing a cast, but he will not need surgery on his hand. He said Martinez will not play Wednesday but had no additional timetable for his return.
“Selfishly, I want him back as soon as possible,” Shyatt said. “Luke is a pretty tough kid. Because of that toughness and his desire to play ... I’m hopeful for the best. That’s why I don’t want to throw out a day or week time period. Because I don’t want it to affect Luke.”
This is the second time this season Wyoming has had to play with the loss of an injured starter. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau recently returned from a combination of a bruised kneecap and inflamed Illiotibial band.
“I trust this group,” Shyatt said. “We just have to overcome Luke’s absence for, hopefully, a short period of time.”