SU center Riley opts for surgery on right foot, likely to miss season

first_imgSyracuse basketball center DaShonte Riley will likely miss the season with an injury, similar to a stress fracture, in his right foot, SU head coach Jim Boeheim said Friday. ‘With DaShonte Riley, he’ll have surgery next week, we hope,’ Boeheim said. ‘We really aren’t positive how long that (he) will be (out), but it’ll probably be — it could be — the whole year.’ Boeheim made the announcement to begin the team’s annual media day, which kick-started SU’s season as the team began practice leading up to its season-opening game against Northern Iowa on Nov. 12. The announcement came about a week after Boeheim first addressed the issue, saying then that Riley and the SU training staff were weighing Riley’s options. Ultimately, Riley said he got X-rays, an MRI and a CT scan on the foot and decided sometime late last week to choose surgery. He said doctors’ diagnoses put the injury as similar to a stress fracture. Riley showed up to the Orange’s media day with a walking boot on his right foot.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘We looked at the results and got a couple of opinions,’ Riley said. ‘And we decided about late last week that (surgery) was probably the best course of action.’ Both Boeheim and Riley did leave the door open for a possible return in January if everything in Riley’s rehab goes according to plan. Riley will have the surgery next week and start rehabbing immediately. ‘They said it’s a possibility that I could come back in January,’ Riley said. ‘But I don’t know what kind of condition and what kind of shape I’ll be in January. So more than likely, I’ll take the year off.’ Riley added he and the team will look into a medical redshirt for this season, which would be his sophomore campaign. Riley’s loss is a blow to a Syracuse team that now has just one returning big man with experience in senior Rick Jackson. Riley scored just 1.4 points per game last season and added 1.5 rebounds per game, but he saw his playing time increase significantly after starting center Arinze Onuaku went down with a quad injury in the Big East tournament and didn’t play the rest of the way. Riley had three rebounds and a block in three NCAA Tournament games while manning the center of Boeheim’s 2-3 zone defense. ‘I think he was going to have a big role this year,’ Jackson said. ‘It’s always great to have another center, especially one that has some experience as far as playing. He played in some big games last year. I think he would have really helped us. Just to have two centers with experience is a great thing to have. It’s going to be tough without him, but you just have to move on.’ Syracuse will likely move on with Jackson as the team’s power forward and highly touted freshman Fab Melo at center. But after that, the depth of SU’s frontcourt is thin. The lack of depth could open a spot for fellow freshman Baye Moussa Keita, a 6-foot-10, 213-pound forward/center from Senegal. ‘I’m excited about all these guys,’ Boeheim said. ‘I think they’re all capable, and I think they all will step up and have great years. But who will be ‘that guy’ is always hard to (say).’ For Riley, the injury is disappointing after the expected increase of his role made him put more into his offseason work. But he said he’ll use the injury and the probable redshirt as an opportunity to come back stronger next season, like he saw fellow Orange teammate Scoop Jardine do last season. ‘It’s a bummer,’ Riley said. ‘I thought I worked pretty hard in the offseason to prepare myself for this season. It hurts, but at the same time, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this will be better for the long term.’ bplogiur@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 14, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img

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