Duke’s Caleb Foster to miss NCAA tournament with right ankle injury

Duke will open the NCAA tournament on Friday night against Vermont in Brooklyn

Duke will be without guard Caleb Foster in the NCAA tournament after all.

Duke head coach Jon Scheyer confirmed Thursday that Foster won’t participate at all in the tournament due to a stress fracture in his right ankle. The Blue Devils, who earned a No. 4 seed in the tournament, are set to take on No. 13 Vermont in the first round on Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Foster had missed the last five games for the Blue Devils with his ankle injury, but the hope was that he’d be available for the postseason. He saw multiple doctors in recent weeks and tried to practice in the lead-up to the tournament, but he just wasn’t healthy enough to return.

“My heart breaks for Caleb, because Caleb has done literally everything you could ask from a guy who has an injury and trying to get back out there,” Scheyer said, via ESPN.

“He wasn’t able to really be himself. And so he’s going to be out. He has a stress fracture in his ankle, and it’s a unique injury. And so we’ll be missing him.”

Foster has averaged 7.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game this season while making 15 starts. The freshman shot nearly 41% from behind the arc, too, and was a great rotation player for the Blue Devils.

Duke lost back-to-back games to close out the year, first to No. 7 North Carolina at home and then to NC State in its first ACC tournament game. The Blue Devils will take on Vermont — which beat UMass Lowell to win the American East conference tournament — in the first round on Friday night. The winner will advance to the second round and will take on either No. 5 Wisconsin or No. 12 James Madison.