Ohio State senior center Zed Key will return to the court as a full participant this offseason, as he was cleared for all basketball-related activities on August 29, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
Key’s clearance comes six months after he underwent season-ending surgery to repair his sprained left shoulder in late February, an injury that hindered him throughout the majority of his junior year. The Bay Shore, New York native first aggravated his shoulder in the team’s Nov. 30 matchup against Duke, but the pain did not impede his production until early in the Buckeyes’ Jan. 5 bout with Purdue, where Key’s shoulder reportedly “went out,” leading to his injury being officially diagnosed as a sprain after the game. The reaggravation forced the Buckeyes’ center to sport a brace around his shoulder starting in mid-January, which he would wear until he was shut down for the season on Feb. 22. .
Despite the injury-shortened 2022-23 campaign, Key still was able to produce in his third year in the Scarlet and Gray, posting a career-high 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, along with a career-best 24 blocks and 14 steals. He managed to be even more efficient before his shoulder sprain, where he recorded 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest along with a 63.5 shooting percentage before Jan. 5.
Now fully cleared, Key will look to reclaim his role as the Buckeyes’ starting center for the remainder of the offseason, a position he will likely have to share with sophomore Felix Okpara (6-11, 235). Okpara started the last nine games at center for Ohio State, averaging 5.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and two blocks per contest during that span.