The junior forward suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and will undergo surgery in the next few weeks.
Buckles had just recovered from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered last February against Pittsburgh. He played an average of 13 minutes in the 11 games since his return this season, averaging 4.0 points and 3.8 rebounds as a reserve. He made his only start of the season against Memphis, totaling 12 points and six rebounds in 13 minutes.
“I don’t think any of us could imagine this happening to such a fine young man,” U of L Coach Rick Pitino said in a statement. “All of us are just crushed. We had thought he had just hyperextended the knee when he had turned for a simple block out and it turned out to be terribly wrong. We will stay close to Rakeem so we can keep his spirits high.”
Eight UofL players have missed games with injuries this season, including leading scorer Kyle Kuric, who sat out the last two games with an ankle sprain. The Cardinals, 14-5 overall and 2-4 in the Big East Conference, will play their next game at Pittsburgh on Saturday at 9:00pm.