Just days after high-profile junior college recruit Edson Avila was denied immediate eligibility, the Oklahoma Sooners basketball program took another hit on Wednesday night.
It was then that the school released information that sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak would be sidelined for 6 to 8 weeks as a result of foot surgery. The surgery was to repair a stress fracture in the foot, and the stated timetable for his return would take him well into pre-season camp prior to Oklahoma’s November 8th season opener.
Hornbeak averaged just 5.6 points per game as a freshman at OU, but he appeared in virtually every game through the season, and by the end of the year, he was a permanent fixture in the starting lineup. After a 20-12 season in 2012-2013, Oklahoma lost a ton of returning production, headlined by Romero Osby, and Hornbeak will still be expected to make a “leap” of sorts upon his return.
It is almost fortunate that the injury occurred this early in camp, but that doesn’t lessen the blow for the Sooners. Given the 6 to 8 week timetable, it is more than reasonable to expect that Hornbeak will be present for the opener against Alabama. However, setbacks are common with foot injuries, and it is too early to rule out the possibility that he wouldn’t be available. Stay tuned.