In some rather unexpected news that surfaced on Tuesday evening, Miami (FL) forward Reggie Johnson is now unable to play this week due to an apparent knee injury.
The Hurricanes, who are the No. 2 seed within the East Region, are preparing to take on No. 3 Marquette this Thursday. The game will take place in Washington D.C., but Johnson did not make the trip from the university campus with his teammates. According to a report from the Associated Press, Johnson actually had surgery on his meniscus on Tuesday, although the procedure is considered minor.
Despite its severity, Johnson is not expected to play this week and obviously within the NCAA Tournament format, its now a wait and see situation. Several reports are crediting sources that say Johnson might be able to return for the Final Four on Apr. 6, if the Hurricanes can make it that far.
Long story short, Johnson, who is a senior, could very well have already played his final game in a Miami uniform if the Hurricanes are unable to keep their dream season alive. The loss of Johnson is not one that cannot be overcome, but it certainly is a difficult blow for Miami at this point in the season.
Johnson was injured earlier in the year, but the Hurricanes are 7-2 on the season without him in the lineup. Fellow front court contributors Julian Gamble and Kenny Kadji have proven themselves on numerous occasions, but now their production faces a defiant increase given what’s on the table in each NCAA Tournament contest.
Tip-off between Miami and Marquette is scheduled for 7:15pm (EST) and will air on CBS.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS