UCLA’s Cody Riley has a sprained knee ligament, could return in a few weeks

UCLA forward Cody Riley collides with Cal State Bakersfield guard Grehlon Easter.
UCLA forward Cody Riley collides with Cal State Bakersfield guard Grehlon Easter during the first half Tuesday at Pauley Pavilion.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

UCLA redshirt senior forward Cody Riley has been diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee after hurting it during the team’s season opener, coach Mick Cronin said Wednesday.

Riley will be reevaluated in a week and might miss only a few weeks, which is something of a relief for the Bruins after forward Mac Etienne and guard Will McClendon suffered more serious knee injuries. McClendon is out for the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament and Etienne is awaiting confirmation that he has the same injury.

Riley went down midway through the first half of second-ranked UCLA’s 95-58 victory over Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night, grabbing his knee in anguish.


“We were all shaken up,” Cronin said. “It took all the satisfaction of opening night away because of our concern for him.”

Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard led No. 2 UCLA to a 95-58 season-opening rout over Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday at Pauley Pavilion.

Nov. 9, 2021

Riley averaged a career-best 10 points and 5.4 rebounds last season while playing through lingering pain from a serious ankle injury late in the season.

Graduate transfer Myles Johnson probably will start in Riley’s absence Friday against fourth-ranked Villanova at Pauley Pavilion, with Kenneth Nwuba coming off the bench. Johnson finished with five rebounds, two points and two blocks against the Roadrunners, and Nwuba had four points, two rebounds and two blocks.