Virginia playmaker Jontel Evans out six weeks after foot surgery
Charlottesville, VA, United States (4E Sports) – The University of Virginia will play without starting point guard Jontel Evans for six weeks after the playmaker underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot.
In a news release, the Cavaliers announced that Evans underwent the surgery Tuesday after experiencing foot pain during practice last week.
“Jontel, obviously, he’s got a strong mind, and he’s a quick healer, so hopefully he’ll be back soon,” fourth-year coach Tony Bennett told the team’s official website. “It was something that needed to be done, and everything went well. It’s unfortunate. You don’t want to have to miss your preseason.”
Evans started all 32 games last season as the Cavaliers reached the NCAA Tournament. An ACC All-Defensive Team selection, he led the team with 124 assists and 50 steals, while averaging 7.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Virginia opens the 2012-13 season on Nov. 9 at George Mason. The Cavaliers begin their home schedule on Nov. 12 when they host Fairfield to start play in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Evans’ injury has left the Cavaliers thin at backcourt, with versatile sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon still not cleared for full participation after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone on his right foot.
The Cavaliers’ sixth man for most of last season, the 6-5 Brogdon averaged 6.7 points as a freshman.
“Progress is slow, but he’s progressing,” Bennett said, referring to Brogdon.
Bennett is looking at 5-11 senior Doug Browman, 6-6 junior Joe Harris and freshmen Taylor Barnette and Teven Jones to fill the void left by Evans.
Virginia’s top returning scorer with an average of 11.3 points last year, Harris said he’s ready to play any position the coaching staff wants him to.
“I’ve played quite a few positions in my career thus far,” Harris said.