The injury occurred when Nelson stole the ball and darted down court only to have a defender swat at the ball and send him to the free throw line. Apparently when the ball was knocked from his hands, it also tore the tendons in the right thumb.
"It's the same injury Alana Beard had last year," sources told TheDevilsDen.com as Nelson was in surgery. "She came back in a little over two weeks, so that's the hope for him as well. We learned a lot about DeMarcus from this. He's not going to complain or tell you when he's hurt, he'd rather be out there competing."
While Nelson could miss the entire preseason and some of the season opening games, the all time California prep scoring leader is targeting a return to the court by November 11th, when Duke faces North Carolina Central in the season's final exhibition game.
Nelson will be placed in a soft cast for the first week and then a splint after that as doctors will continue to evaluate his progress in hopes of helping him achieve his goal of an early return.
As a source within Cameron put it: "He's too much of a competitor to sit on the side lines for very long. This is going to drive him crazy."