Junior forward out indefinitely

Updated: October 23, 2004, 1:16 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Jason Fraser will remain out of action indefinitely while he recovers from Friday's arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

The Villanova junior forward, riddled with knee injuries since he arrived as a heralded recruit three years ago, underwent the procedure at Bryn Mawr Hospital and will need at least three weeks of recovery before he can be evaluated.

"We removed loose pieces of cartilage in Jason's knee," Villanova team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rob Good, who performed the procedure Friday, said in a release on Villanova's Web site. "We are hopeful that this will reduce the irritation in his knee and allow him to return to action."

"Jason continues to show an incredible attitude through all the adversity he has faced," Villanova coach Jay Wright said in the release. "If anyone can make a quick recovery from this, it is Jason."

Fraser participated in the team's first two practices before swelling occurred in his left knee. This was the first summer that Fraser had been pain-free and worked out without conditions. Then, in August, there was swelling and Wright had him shut it down for a few weeks. By September, Fraser was feeling fine again and didn't anticipate another setback.

Fraser played 10 minutes in one game before January last season because of a stress fracture in his left heel. He returned to finish strong by scoring 17 points, 12 in the second half, to beat Providence in the Big East quarterfinals. He followed that with a 17-point, 11-rebound game in a semifinal loss to eventual champion Connecticut.

The McDonald's All-American forward missed the last three weeks of his freshman season because of injuries and a suspension related to the phone card scam that engulfed the athletic department in 2002-03. Fraser suffered a stress reaction in his left foot on Feb. 24, 2003. He ended up having surgery on both knees on April 9, 2003, to repair ligament damage.

Fraser played in 27 games last season, averaging 7.1 points and 7.1 rebounds. He played in 24 as a freshman, averaging 7.1 points and 6.3 rebounds.

Villanova players and coaches say he is the key to this team making a run at the NCAA Tournament.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz was used in this report.