St. John's senior forward Justin Burrell has broken a bone in his left hand and will miss 4-5 weeks - a recovery time approximately two weeks shorter than what was originally anticipated - head coach Steve Lavin announced on Monday.
It's unfortunate for an athlete to begin his senior season with an injury, but the result turned out better than we anticipated," said Lavin. "Justin has worked extremely hard this offseason to prepare himself for an outstanding senior year. Our staff has been impressed with the maturity and poise he has shown in responding to this setback. We're looking forward to monitoring his progress over the next few weeks."
Burrell fractured the second metacarpal on his left hand during a drill at the end of practice on Friday, Oct. 15, at Taffner Field House when he collided with a teammate. After an on-site examination on Friday by the St. John's medical staff, led by 30-year Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine Ron Linfonte, A.T.C., and Aaron Krych, M.D., Sports Medicine Fellow at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Burrell was examined on Monday at HSS by hand specialist Michelle Carlson, M.D. Carlson was able to reduce the fracture and stabilize the broken bone without surgery, reducing the anticipated recovery time. Carlson recommended 4-5 weeks of recovery and rehabilitation, giving Burrell a potential return to the court in early to mid- November.
Burrell, a 2007-08 member of the BIG EAST All-Rookie team, averaged 9.0 points per game and 4.5 rebounds in 2008-09 despite playing most of the season while wearing a mask to protect three hairline facial fractures. He averaged 6.6 ppg and 4.4 rpg as a junior in 2009-10, playing in all but five contests because of a high-ankle sprain suffered against Duke.