Kansas Forward Breaks Bone
Dec. 27, 1997
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Kansas forward Raef Lafrentz broke a bone in his right index finger during practice Friday and is expected to miss at least six weeks.
The injury is a major blow to the second-ranked Jayhawks (14-1), who are in Hawaii for the eight-team Rainbow Classic.
LaFrentz, a 6-foot-11 senior projected by some to be the No. 1 overall pick in next June's NBA draft, is averaging 21.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.
``Raef went up for a shot inside,'' Kansas coach Roy Williams told the Kansas City Star. ``Eric (Chenowith) reached across and fouled him. It was a clean play, but he came down hard on (LaFrentz's) right hand. Raef walked off the court, holding his hand. I knew he was hurt because he doesn't do that.''
An orthopedic surgeon diagnosed the injury as a break between the knuckle and the tip of the right index finger.
``Right now we're not going to send Raef back early,'' Williams said. ``The finger is in a cast. They don't anticipate any surgery. Everything looks like it's in alignment.''
Missing six weeks would mean LaFrentz would be sidelined for 13 games _ three in the Rainbow Classic and 10 against Big 12 opponents _ before coming back for the Feb. 8 game against Missouri.