KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee men’s basketball team will enter postseason play without star point guard Zakai Zeigler after he suffered a major injury Tuesday against Arkansas.
The team confirmed Wednesday that the sophomore suffered a torn ACL in his left knee early in the first half of the Vols’ senior night win over Arkansas.
Zeigler was enjoying another stellar campaign at Tennessee, he leads the Southeastern Conference in assists (161) and was named one of 10 nationwide semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award.
The Long Island, New York native was an immediate contributor in his first year on Rocky Top by becoming the just the fourth Vol ever selected to the SEC All-Defensive Team and the first to do it as a freshman.
His tenacious defense and on-court passion has made him a Tennessee fan favorite. Last year, a fundraiser to support his family after a fire destroyed their New York home raised over $350,000.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it can take eight to 12 months for athletes to return to their sports from an ACL tear.
Tennessee conclude their regular season on Thursday on the road against Auburn before beginning their SEC Tournament title defense in Nashville.