CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Duke freshman star Zion Williamson will play in the Blue Devils' quarterfinal matchup with Syracuse in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

The fifth-ranked Blue Devils announced Williamson's status Thursday morning after he had missed nearly six full games with a knee sprain.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Williamson was hurt in the opening minute of last month's loss to North Carolina. The Blue Devils had been 3-3 with Williamson out.

Williamson - The Associated Press' player and newcomer of the year in the ACC - is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski had been publicly optimistic Williamson would return for the ACC Tournament. He said Williamson performed well in non-contact practice work last week and his status would depend on how he responded to contact work this week.