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Ralph Sampson Injury: Gophers Center Won't Play Against Northwestern

Ralph Sampson III suffered an injury in practice earlier this week as the Minnesota Golden Gophers were preparing for the 2012 Big Ten tournament. It wasn't expected to be that serious at first, but he'll apparently miss the Gophers opening game of the tournament against the Northwestern Wildcats.

Sampson tweaked his knee in practice on Monday and, according to the Star Tribune's Amelia Rayno, he'll likely be out for the majority of the Big Ten tournament -- which might not be long for the Gophers considering they enter as the No. 10 seed.

Ralph Sampson III will be out today and likely beyond -- if the Gophers advance -- with an knee injury sustained in practice Monday. Starting in Sampson's spot will be Elliott Eliason, who has started four games in place of the senior this season.

Northwestern isn't great in the post, either, so maybe Eliason can do some damage. It still would've certainly helped to have Sampson, the team's only senior, in the lineup.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.