When Arizona center Chase Jeter hit the floor almost horizontally on Saturday and stayed there while being examined, everyone in McKale Center had reason to hold their breath.
But before long, Jeter walked off the court under his own power and returned to the bench despite suffering back spasms.
“I think Chase is going to be OK,” UA coach Sean Miller said.
Nearly three weeks earlier, during a New Year’s Eve day practice, UA point guard Justin Coleman dislocated his left shoulder.
Five days later, after testing the shoulder for four minutes against Colorado, he logged 33 minutes against Utah.
“Could have been real bad,” Miller said. “I think in the levels of a dislocated shoulder, he’s at maybe the best level.”
That wasn’t a surprise. Whether it’s a product of UA athletic trainers, offseason fitness programs or just plain old good luck, that’s often been the case this season: The entire Wildcat roster has been at the best level of staying healthy.
While it isn’t known for sure yet if Jeter will play on Thursday at USC, Arizona so far has been the only Pac-12 team to go the entire season so far without missing a single rotation player due to injury.
This weekend, Arizona will face two of the more injury-plagued teams around the league this season.
USC had only eight scholarship players available for nine of its first 17 games, going two games without standout forward Bennie Boatwright and 10 games without highly regarded freshman Kevin Porter Jr. — who has also missed the past two games with an indefinite suspension. In addition, the Trojans are expected to seek a redshirt season for guard Charles O’Bannon, who suffered a broken left pinky.
Meanwhile, UCLA lost former UA commit Shareef O’Neal to a heart condition before the season and went without backup forward Alex Olesinski for the first 13 games of the season because of a foot stress fracture and also missed forward Cody Riley for three games.
Here’s a rundown of injuries involving key players around the Pac-12 this season, with number of games missed:
G Rob Edwards, 6 (back)
G Remy Martin, 2 (ankle)
F Mickey Mitchell 12 (back)
G Juhwan Harris-Dyson, 1 (hand)
G Paris Austin, 2 (ankle)
C Connor Vanover, 3 (broken nose/concussion)
C Dallas Walton, season (ACL)
G Namon Wright, 3 (foot)
G McKinley Wright, 1 (shoulder)
C Bol Bol, season (foot)
F Louis King, 7 (knee)
F Kenny Wooten, 4 (broken jaw)
F Abu Kigab, 2 (ankle, then transferred)
F Tres Tinkle, 1 (sprained ankle)
C Gligorije Rakocevic, 5 (foot)
G Daejon Davis, 1 (ankle)
G Cormac Ryan, 4 (ankle)
F Shareef O’Neal, season (heart)
F Alex Olesinski, 13 (foot stress fracture)
F Cody Riley, 3 (jaw)
F Bennie Boatwright, 2 (offseason knee surgery)
G Charles O’Bannon, 16 (broken pinky)
C Victor Uyaelunmo 2 (sore left knee)
G Kevin Porter Jr., 10 (quadriceps contusion)
G Derryck Thornton, 1 (ankle sprain)
G Elijah Weaver, 5 (ankle surgery; ankle sprain)
G Both Gach, 1 (foot)
F Robert Franks, 5 (foot soreness, hip contusion)
G Viont’e Daniels, 4 (concussion)
F Isaiah Wade, 3 (unspecified)
F Hameir Wright, 1 (sprained ankle)
- USC center Nick Rakocevic was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after leading the Trojans to an 80-67 over UCLA on Saturday with 21 points and 12 rebounds. The UA nominated Brandon Williams, who averaged 15 points and 3.5 assists in games against Oregon and Oregon State.
- No Pac-12 teams appeared in The Associated Press Top 25 for a fourth straight week, though Washington received the 33rd-most votes. The first-place Huskies are 5-0 in league play.
- Arizona had the No. 54 NET rating as of Monday and is No. 51 in Kenpom ratings.