Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A leading orthopedic surgeon told UPI it is probable that Duke's Zion Williamson suffered an MCL sprain, which typically carries a healing time of 2-to-6 weeks.
Dr. Derek Ochiai, a hip surgeon and sports medicine expert from Arlington, Va., said medical collateral ligament sprains are common sports medicine injuries, with the healing time depending on the grad of the sprain.
"A lower grade sprain [Grade 1] heals faster than Grade 3," Ochiai said. "Almost all MCL sprains heal without surgery. However, MCL sprains can also be associated with meniscal tears of the knee."
Meniscal tears can be seen on MRI, which Williamson is slated for on Thursday.
"In the meantime, the treatment for Zion's knee will be to keep the swelling down and try to limit stiffness of the knee," Ochiai said.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called the knee "stable" following the Blue Devils' 88-72 loss to North Carolina. Williamson left the game in the opening minute after breaking through his shoe while dribbling. Krzyzewski also called the MCL sprain "mild."
BetOnline.AG released odds on when Williamson will return, giving him 3-2 odds at returning in the regular season. The sports book gave Williamson 7-4 odds at returning for the ACC tournament and 5-2 odds at coming back for the NCAA tournament. The sports book gave 11-4 odds for Williamson not returning this season.
"We're not going to draw any conclusions from this game, except the fact that we have a loss," Krzyzewski told reporters Wednesday.
"That is a definite conclusion. But the fact of how we play, who we're going to play, whatever we're going to do, we have to come up with a game plan based on Zion not playing. Hopefully, he'll be back playing sometime in the near future. So, that's where we're at."
Duke faces Syracuse at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.