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Gonzaga big man Przemek Karnowski leaves Final Four game with an eye injury, returns for second half


NCAA Basketball: Final Four-South Carolina vs Gonzaga Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

If Gonzaga is going to head back to Spokane with a national championship, they might have to do it without one of their best players.

With less than five minutes to go in the first half against South Carolina, Gonzaga big man Przemek Karnowski crumpled to the floor after sustaining what appeared to be an injury to his eye. South Carolina’s Chris Silva blocked a shot, but appeared to accidentally poke Karnowski in the eye during the follow through.

CBS’ Tracy Wolfson reported Karnowski could not focus with his right eye. He did not return to the game before the end of the first half, but did to start the second.

"Yeah, he got poked in the eye pretty good,” Zags coach Mark Few told Wolfson as the two teams headed into the locker room. “They're checking on it right now. Hopefully we can put a protective contact it or something. We'll know at the end of the half.”

Karnowski was having a decent game, with six points and four rebounds, on 3-7 shooting in the first half. He’s the anchor of an excellent Gonzaga defense, but the Bulldogs do have Zach Collins to help fill in the gaps.

Thanks to a strong run at the end of the half, the Bulldogs led, 45-36.