Updated: Black to have surgery; out 4-6 weeks

Updated: Black to have surgery; out 4-6 weeks

For more updates on Black and other tidbits from media day, go right here

CHAMPAIGN — The injury bug continues to strike the Illinois basketball program.

Coach John Groce said Thursday that sophomore forward Leron Black would undergo surgery Friday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Black is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Illinois’ season opener is Nov. 13 — five weeks after Black’s surgery.

“He is one tough cookie; he’s probably had it for a while, to be honest,” Groce said of Black’s injury. “A lot of guys may not be able to have that pain threshold or tolerance, but he’s a pretty tough dude.”

Black said his plan is to follow his rehab and get back as soon as possible.

“I know everything happens for a reason,” he said.

Groce and the Illinois coaching staff raved about Black’s progress throughout the course of the offseason.

After averaging 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds as a freshman, the 6-foot-7 forward led the Illini in scoring (14.0) and rebounding (11.3) during the four-game European trip this summer.

The injury is something Groce said likely developed over time.

“Fortunately for us, it’ll be a pretty quick deal. Leron is one of those guys who’s pretty thorough in everything that he does,” Groce said. “He’ll have a sense of urgency, do the right things, listen to the team trainers, the doctors, a lot like (Jalen Coleman-Lands).”

With Black out, Illinois’ frontcourt depth takes a hit.

Mike Thorne Jr. is penciled in as the starter at center, while Michael Finke and Maverick Morgan will get more reps at the power-forward spot with Black sidelined.

Black’s case follows a season-ending injury to point guard Tracy Abrams and freshman guard Coleman-Lands’ stress fracture, which required a 12-week layoff.


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Bwp 5P wrote on October 08, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Is there any other school as "unlucky" as Illinois with Injurys to Key players??

CecilColeman wrote on October 10, 2015 at 8:10 pm

The only other team with that kind of "injury luck" was the team traveling on the Titanic.