Feb 7, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Caleb Foster (1) dunks during the second half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils won 71-53.Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

As Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer navigates through his second NCAA Tournament as head coach of the program, he’ll be doing so without a key player.

Freshman guard Caleb Foster, who suffered an ankle injury in Duke’s 83-79 loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on February 24, was ruled out of the NCAA Tournament Thursday, Scheyer announced during his media availability before Friday’s First Round showdown with the 13-seed Vermont Catamounts.

“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.

The freshman guard from Harrisburg, NC started 15 games for the Blue Devils this season, averaging 7.7 points and 2.1 assists per game. Foster made a name for himself almost immediately, scoring a team-high 18 points in Duke’s 74-65 win over the Michigan State Spartans in November’s Champions Classic. That 18-point showing also marked a season-high for the freshman.

Scheyer also said that Foster desperately wanted to play and did all he could, but simply couldn’t get cleared by the training staff.

“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.”