BYU basketball: Chris Collinsworth to undergo exploratory surgery

Published: Monday, Dec. 5 2011 11:27 p.m. MST

PROVO — Ailing BYU power forward Chris Collinsworth may be out a lot later than previously anticipated.

Following micro-fracture surgery on his knee which ended his season early last year, it looks as if he'll go under the knife again.

Coach Dave Rose told the media following Monday's practice that he'll undergo exploratory surgery sometime next week to try and figure out why his injury hasn't healed as anticipated.

"Chris saw a doctor today and, after an MRI — after re-reading it — he does have quite a bone bruise underneath that kneecap," said Rose. "(They) can't understand why it hasn't progressed any better than it has, so they're going to go in there and try to find out."

Following surgery, his return is completely dependent on what the doctors are able to find, making a timetable for his return unavailable until they learn more.

The sophomore forward was expected to be the Cougars' starter this season, but has never fully recovered after re-aggravating his knee injury earlier in the year. Collinsworth last played against BYU-Hawaii on Nov. 15, missing BYU's last six games.

HAPPY TO BE HOME: The Cougars have been road warriors, not having played a home game since Nov. 22 against Prairie View A&M. Due to the "Christmas Around the World" production that was staged at the Marriot Center, the team has also been unable to practice there since a week from last Wednesday, according to Rose.

"We're happy to be home," he said.

The Cougars will get very accustomed to being at home during the next few weeks, playing five of their next six contests on their home court.

WELCOMING WEBER: BYU's next contest will be a highly anticipated instate matchup with Weber State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Wildcats have greatly been anticipating this game, anxious to knock off BYU on its home court for the first time ever in the series between the two instate schools.

Weber State will enter Wednesday night's game with a 5-1 record, with the Wildcats' latest win coming in double-overtime over San Jose State.

"They're a very, very good team," said Rose. "They're an experienced team and I think that early in the season they're more advanced than other teams that we've played. They know where they're going in late-game situations; they've played a lot of close games."

The marquee matchup on Wednesday will likely be at the point guard position, where emerging BYU point guard Anson Winder should have his hands full will the Wildcats' Damian Lillard, who has scored a total of 77 points in his last two games, including a career-high 41 points in last Saturday's double-OT victory over SJSU. Lillard leads the nation in scoring with an average of over 28 points per game.

"He's as good as any point guard we'll face all year long," said Rose. "I'm looking forward to the challenge and I think it will be a great game."

Hartsock named WCC Player of Week

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — The West Coast Conference named BYU forward Noah Hartsock as its men's basketball Player of the Week award-winner for Dec. 5.

Hartsock led the Cougars to back-to-back, neutral-site wins over Northern Arizona (87-52) and Oregon (79-65) last week while averaging 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and 3.5 blocks per game. He also shot 50 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

Against Oregon, Hartsock finished with a double-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He also added two assists and tied a season high with four blocks.Hartsock earns WCC honor

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — The West Coast Conference named BYU forward Noah Hartsock as its men's basketball Player of the Week award-winner for Dec. 5.

Hartsock led the Cougars to back-to-back, neutral-site wins over Northern Arizona (87-52) and Oregon (79-65) last week while averaging 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and 3.5 blocks per game. He also shot 50 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

Against Oregon, Hartsock finished with a double-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He also added two assists and tied a season high with four blocks.

email: bgurney@desnews.com

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