The Saint Louis University Billikens will open the 2012-13 campaign without one of their top players from a year ago. Point guard Kwamain Mitchell underwent surgery Monday to repair a fracture in his left foot and is expected to miss at least six weeks. The team hopes to have him back in time for conference play at the start of January.
“Kwamain is an important part of our team,” SLU interim head coach Jim Crews said in an official press release. “There is now an opportunity for others to step up in his place. We look forward to having Kwamain back playing this season. In the meantime, he will be very valuable on the bench as he is truly an extension of the coaching staff.”
Mitchell sustained the injury Saturday morning when a teammate stepped on his planted left foot as he went to change directions. The fifth-year senior will spend the next five to six weeks in a cast and walking boot before beginning rehab, at which point the team hopes to get an idea of when he will be able to return. As of now, there is no specific timetable for his recovery, but the team does not believe it to be a season ending injury.
Mitchell, a preseason All-Atlantic 10 selection, was the Billikens’ second-leading scorer last season, averaging 12.4 points per game. He also ranked third in the A-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1-1) and eighth in steals (1.6 per game).
Head team physician Dr. Scott Kaar performed the surgery on Mitchell, who sided with his recommendation to undergo surgery. A source familiar with the situation said Mitchell could have opted against the operation, but it was unknown if he would be able to play this season.
The injury to Mitchell will open up more playing time for freshman Keith Carter. Carter (6-0, 180) averaged 20 points and five assists per game last season with Proviso East High School. MaxPreps rated Carter as a four-star recruit and listed him as an honorable mention on their high school All-American team.
Saint Louis will open the regular season on Nov. 9 against the University of South Carolina Upstate. They will open A-10 play on Jan. 10 versus Massachusetts.Brian Haenchen covers the Saint Louis University men’s basketball team for The University News. You can follow him on Twitter (@Brian_Haenchen) or email him (email@example.com).