Osborne’s season ends due to ankle injury

Malik Osborne played through an ankle injury for most of January but the Florida State forward has decided to end his season, a school spokesperson announced on Friday afternoon.

Osborne averaged 10 points and a team-leading 6.9 rebounds for FSU in his redshirt senior season. He shot 41 percent from the floor, 35.7 percent from 3-point range and 83.1 percent from the free-throw line.

In the last six games, Osborne has struggled from the floor and shot just 8 of 43 but had been a productive rebounder. He appeared to re-aggravate the ankle late in the first half at Georgia Tech on Wednesday, scoring three points and pulling down two rebounds as he was limited to just 19 minutes.

FSU coach Leonard Hamilton had mentioned to the media on Friday morning that Osborne may be having surgery that would end his season.

“It’s just one of those things that we got to make a decision on,” Hamilton said. “And I imagine that we’ll be doing that shortly. I don’t see him getting any better. And we could be making a decision to shut him down and go ahead and operate on it. We have to get with our doctors.”

Osborne has 778 career points, including 491 at FSU the last three seasons.

FSU (13-6, 6-3 ACC) goes into Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech (10-10, 2-7) seeking to bounce back from a 14-point loss at Georgia Tech. The Seminoles must do it without their emotional leader in Osborne, who often played power forward and center when the coaches used smaller lineups.

Without Osborne, FSU will lean more on centers Naheem McLeod and Tanor Ngom as well as walk-on forward Harrison Prieto. McLeod is averaging 5.0 points per game and 3.6 rebounds in his last five games. Ngom missed 11 games due to injury and has been up and down since his return, scoring 13 points in nine minutes against North Florida but played just three minutes at Georgia Tech and did not have a point or rebound while picking up two fouls. Prieto has played in 10 games, averaging 2.6 points and 0.5 rebounds. Another center, Quincy Ballard, has been used sparingly.

Hamilton said Caleb Mills played through tonsillitis at Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

“It’s just one of those kind of infections that can affect some guys more than others and the other night Caleb just couldn’t go,” Hamilton said. “So we have to wait and see.”