UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad will be out of action for two to four weeks after an MRI revealed a strained right shoulder, the school announced.
Muhammad was injured during the team’s practice Wednesday.
Muhammad is still under investigation by the NCAA for improper benefits he allegedly received. The NCAA has yet to issue a ruling. If he is deemed eligible before the start of the season, the current injury puts his status in doubt for the Bruins season opener Nov. 9 at the new Pauley Pavilion against Indiana State.
UCLA will likely be without guard Tyler Lamb in the opener after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee earlier this month that is supposed to keep him out four to six weeks. Earlier this week it was announced forward David Wear was out with a sprained right ankle. He is expected to return to practice by Monday, the school announced.
This is Muhammad’s second injury during his short time on campus. He was out with a high ankle sprain that kept him sidelined for nearly a month during the summer.
Muhammad was said by many to be the top player in the country coming out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas last June.
He, along with Kyle Anderson, are the centerpieces of the top recruiting class in the country assembled by head coach Ben Howland.
Like Muhammad, Anderson is also under NCAA investigation.
It is not known if or when UCLA fans will be able to see this top-ranked recruiting class, which also includes Jordan Adams and Tony Parker, on the court together this season. The school remains “hopeful” that both cases will be cleared, but earlier this month at the team’s media day, the Bruins refused to take any questions on the matter.
“I’m just not going to comment on anything having to do with the ongoing investigation,” Howland said at the time. “It’s inappropriate. It’s not fair to the players. It’s just a matter of their confidentiality and the respect to the process.”
Muhammad averaged 29.4 points last season while leading Bishop Gorman to a state championship. He was named the Morgan Wooten Player of the Year and the MVP of the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game.
He scored a record 35 points for the USA Junior National Select Team last April at the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit.