Louisville Cardinals big man Malik Williams to miss at least 12 weeks with foot injury

Louisville big man Malik Williams will miss at least 12 weeks due to an injury in his right foot, the school announced Saturday.

Williams suffered a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot and will undergo surgery next week. It's the second foot fracture he has suffered in the past two seasons, as Williams missed the first four games of last season after breaking a bone in his right foot last September.

"I feel for Malik," Louisville coach Chris Mack said. "He's everything a coach could ask for in a person, player and captain, so my heart aches for him. Our team will miss his presence on the court during his time away. I feel for our fans, as well, who love watching and supporting Malik's play. I have no doubt he will have a successful surgery and do his best to return to the Cardinals. We will support him on and off the floor throughout his absence."

Williams, a 6-foot-11 center and team co-captain, started three games last season for the Cardinals and finished second in ACC Sixth Man of the Year voting. He was expected to move into a full-time starting role this season after averaging 8.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season.

Without Williams, Louisville will take a hit on and off the floor. He was by far the most experienced player in the program, and the Cardinals don't have much proven production behind him in the frontcourt. Sophomores Aidan Igiehon and Quinn Slazinski will likely see bigger roles, while redshirt freshman Jae'Lyn Withers could see time down low in a small-ball lineup.

Louisville opens the season Nov. 25 against Southern Illinois.