On Monday, Texas Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart met with the media via teleconference and provided the first update on the host of players who were injured when the season was canceled before the Horns could appear in the Big 12 tournament.
Of the six players who were injured when the season ended, guards Jase Febres and Donovan Williams were the only two who needed to undergo surgery.
Febres, who will be a senior this fall, underwent surgery that Smart compared to an arthroscopic procedure in early March after he was injured in early February against Texas Tech.
A sophomore, Williams aggravated a previous injury he’d been managing the entire season in the second game against the Red Raiders in late February.
“Those guys are making progress,” Smart said. “Jase is a shorter recovery than Donovan, but they’re both making progress. Jase had a doctor’s appointment last week that went well. I don’t know exactly when he’s going to be back to 100 percent, but he’s certainly moving in that direction. Donovan will be a little bit longer. He’s doing well and moving in the right direction.”
Senior forward Jericho Sims and junior forward Gerald Liddell both suffered stress reactions in their backs that did not require surgery. Liddell was sideline first back in late January and Sims followed Liddell several weeks later.
“The key has been rest for them so that those could fully recover,” Smart said. “Gerald is a little bit further ahead of Jericho with that because his injury was earlier. He’s been cleared to do some activities — not yet to go on the court and play five on five, but nobody is doing that right now. He’s making a lot of progress. Jericho is making progress as well. It’s going to be a little bit longer for him. Doctor’s feel good about the direction that he’s going.”
Sophomore guard Brock Cunningham suffered an ankle injury while in Kansas City for the aborted Big 12 tournament.
“He’s recovering,” Smart said. “He’s not all the way to 100 percent, but he’s made a lot of progress with that.”
Senior guard Matt Coleman also suffered a late-season injury that cost him a half against Iowa State.
“As you remember, he had the significant heel bruise that just nagged him for quite a while,” Smart said. “He’s done a good job of continuing to recover from that and has gotten back closer to being pain free.”