|ESPN.com: Men's College Basketball||[Print without images]|
Michigan State is expected to be without senior forward Adreian Payne on Saturday against Michigan, leaving the Spartans down two starters against their in-state rivals.
Sources told ESPN.com that the 6-foot-9 Payne, who has missed the past four games because of a foot injury, will sit out against the Wolverines. Payne is second on the team in scoring (16.2 points per game) and rebounding (7.7).
Spartans coach Tom Izzo told reporters after practice Thursday that Payne's chances of playing were "slim to none."
"Slim meaning slim," Izzo said, according to MLive.com. "And when he'll play is gonna be strictly between me and him. The doctors are in it only to give me information."
Payne will be joined on the sideline by teammate Branden Dawson, who is out four to five weeks after suffering a broken bone in his hand Thursday morning when he slammed a table in frustration. Dawson is averaging 10.2 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds.
There is a chance Payne could return for the road contest at Iowa next Tuesday, sources told ESPN.com, but a more likely scenario has the versatile big man sitting out against the Hawkeyes and also a nonconference matchup against Georgetown on Feb. 1 in New York.
Third-ranked Michigan State is 18-1, 7-0 in the Big Ten. No. 21 Michigan is 14-4 and 6-0.