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Richard Jefferson To Have Surgery on Tuesday, Out Eight Weeks
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/10/2000
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Tucson, Ariz. -- Arizona sophomore forward Richard Jefferson will undergo surgery on his right foot Tuesday to the fractured fifth metatarsal he sustained during last Saturday's game at Stanford. University of Arizona orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jon Nisbet will perform the surgery at the University Medical Center.

Following the surgery, Jefferson will be out of action for eight weeks with his anticipated return set for the second week of March, which coincides with the team's final regular season games on March 9 and 11 versus Stanford and California in Tucson.

Following his surgery, Jefferson's foot will be placed in a boot and he will undergo non-weight bearing rehabilitation for four weeks. Should that portion of his rehabilitation progress as anticipated, he will then progress to weight bearing activities for the final four weeks of rehab.

"We are disappointed that Richard is not going to be with us for a while, but we are confident that he will work hard at getting himself back as soon as physically possible," head coach Lute Olson said. "In the meantime, I know he will continue to provide the moral support that will be needed by the rest of his teammates."

"This is a common injury for basketball players," Arizona athletic basketball trainer Ed Orr said. "It's anticipated that he will make a full recovery. The first stages of his rehabilitation will be mainly pool running, biking and weight lifting for his non-affected leg and upper extremities. If the bone heals as anticipated, he will then progress to more weight bearing activities."

Jefferson had started all 15 games for the second-ranked Wildcats this season and is averaging 12.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He is the team's leading three-point shooter (.452) and third-leading field goal percentage leader (.532). Heading into Pac-10 Conference play, he was the team's leading scorer (13.8 ppg).

"I wish I could be back tomorrow -- but now that I know I can't I will just have to make sure I get back as soon as possible," Jefferson said. "Believe me, I will be back as soon as I can and I will work as hard as I can during the rehabilitation process."

In Jefferson's absence, redshirt freshman Luke Walton will be inserted into the starting lineup. Walton has played in all 15 games for the Wildcats so far and is averaging 2.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 2.1 apg.

Arizona (13-2, 2-0 Pac-10) returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 13 when it hosts Washington State at 6:37 p.m.

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