Hunter undergoes surgery, out indefinitely

Jerome Hunter’s college debut will remain on delay.

The Indiana freshman wing underwent surgery on a “lower body condition” on Wednesday evening at the Cleveland Clinic and will remain out of action indefinitely, according to a statement released Thursday by IU.

Hunter, a former four-star recruit, has not yet appeared in a game for the Hoosiers after developing an unspecified “lower body” health issue earlier this semester.

IU coach Archie Miller said as recently as Tuesday afternoon that the team was still working to get an accurate diagnosis of Hunter’s injury. In the statement released Wednesday, Indiana said it “is not allowed to comment on the specifics of the condition,” citing HIPPA laws.

“It’s not a typical leg injury that is an injury caused by practicing or something,” Miller said last week. “It’s more of an underlying effect that’s causing him some pain. When we get all the answers, he’ll be evaluated and decided on.”

Because Hunter has not played in any of IU’s first three games, redshirting him remains an option should his injury keep him out of action long-term.

Hunter was ranked as the No. 46 player nationally in the 2018 recruiting class, according to 247 Sports. A finalist for Ohio Mr. Basketball, Hunter scored 20.2 points and grabbed 10.2 rebounds per game for Pickerington North as a senior.

His injury has been one of a handful the Hoosiers have been forced to deal with early in the season, a growing concern for Miller as he tries to round a new-look Indiana team into shape.

Senior Zach McRoberts and junior Devonte Green missed Wednesday’s win over No. 24 Marquette with their own injuries issues.

McRoberts has been dealing with a strained lower back that flared up on him during last Friday’s win over Montana State. The walk-on starter played only seven first-half minutes in that contest and did not return to the floor.

He and Green, who continues to deal with a thigh contusion, were both in street clothes on Wednesday night. Green averaged 24.5 minutes across IU’s first two games of the season, coming off the bench in the each.

Like Hunter, redshirt freshman Race Thompson was not on Indiana’s bench Tuesday night, either. Thompson is recovering from concussion-like symptoms stemming from a collision during Sunday’s practice.

The trio of McRoberts, Green and Thompson are also out indefinitely, according to Miller.

“I don’t see them playing here in the near future,” he said.

Suddenly, Indiana’s depth — arguably one of this team’s best attributes — is being tested. Indiana weathered Tuesday’s challenge against Marquette with a short-bench, posting a runaway victory despite playing with an eight-man rotation. Can they do it again?

And again?

It doesn’t seem that relief is on the immediate horizon for the Hoosiers approaching Sunday afternoon’s tip-off at Arkansas. Even at full strength, this was going to be a tough month for IU, which comes off Thanksgiving weekend scheduled for a Nov. 27 game at No. 1 Duke.

Whether any of the four injured Hoosiers will be back for that primetime showdown with the Blue Devils seemed unlikely as of Wednesday night, according to Miller.

“I see maybe the month of November being a very risky month for us just in general, but we have to do our part,” Miller said. “We just have to be ready and we have to be as smart as we can with the guys that are available. But right now we’re planning on moving through the rest of November, practically, maybe without all four.”

2 comments

  1. Since he’s being cared for at The Cleveland Clinic, his condition must require a sub-specialist. That’s about the best surgical hospital in the world, so he’s getting excellent care. I hope he makes a full recovery and comes back stronger than ever next season.

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