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December 9, 2012

Etherington has surgery, is out for the season

Austin Etherington is out for the rest of the season after surgery today to repair a break to his left knee cap.

Etherington had to have screws inserted into his left knee cap (patella) in surgery performed this morning by Dr. Steve Ahlfeld.

Etherington will have to keep the knee immobilized for approximately two months.

Rehabilitation is expected to take approximately eight months. A full recovery is expected.

Etherington suffered the injury when he stepped in front of Central Connecticut State's Terrell Allen and fell hard to the court with 2:28 remaining in the first half of Indiana's 100-69 win Saturday night in Assembly Hall. Etherington fell to the floor, and was immediately attended to by Dr. Ahlfeld, trainer Tim Garl and others. He was immediately taken from Assembly Hall to the hospital.

The 6-foot-6 forward from Hamilton Heights High School has played 45 minutes over six games and would be eligible to apply for a medical redshirt for the season and, if he receives it, would have three seasons of college basketball remaining. (A player can play in 30 percent of his or her team's games and still be eligible for a medical redshirt year.)

"Anytime you lose a valued member of your program it not only hurts the team, but also everyone's hearts," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "Austin has been doing an excellent job improving, and now we have to help him overcome this setback and move forward. Our players have experience in this area, and everyone is looking forward to helping him recover.

"As serious as his injury was, we are thankful that it was not worse. We have such an outstanding medical team. I could not imagine going through something like this without them. We are fortunate to have them."

Indiana junior Maurice Creek is the player who has gone through the most as far as recovering from injury, coming back from three serious injuries to play this season.

Etherington is averaging 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds for the No. 1-ranked Hoosiers (9-0).

Etherington had microfracture surgery on his left knee in high school. It caused him to miss most of his freshman season and the early portion of his sophomore year.

A First Team All-State selection in Indiana after averaging 18.6 points and 8.5 rebounds at Hamilton Heights, Etherington also was instrumental in recruiting Cody Zeller to IU. Etherington and Zeller became close friends while AAU teammates with Indiana Elite, and after he committed to IU, Etherington famously said his next goal was, "Get Cody."

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