Rush tears ACL in right knee; surgery not yet scheduled

Updated: May 29, 2007, 7:44 AM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Kansas guard Brandon Rush has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and might not play for the Jayhawks until December, a high-ranking Kansas source told ESPN.com on Monday night.

The university expects to see a final review of Rush's MRI on Tuesday. The test results were sent to a Denver specialist over the weekend and an announcement from the school is due Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Rush injured his ACL during a pickup game Thursday and then withdrew from the NBA draft Friday afternoon.

Rush's brother, JaRon, was quoted in the Lawrence Journal-World on Sunday saying that Brandon had torn his ACL. The Kansas City Star also reported the injury.

The Kansas source confirmed the severity of the injury on Monday night.

Rush, a sophomore wing, was projected to be a first-round pick in next month's draft. He had planned on playing in the Orlando pre-draft camp, which begins Tuesday night at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Kansas coaching staff isn't fretting Rush's injury. The staff feels that Rush can be practicing by Nov. 1, which could put him on the court for the Jayhawks' first key nonconference game (Nov. 25 against Arizona). The meat of Kansas' nonconference schedule -- games at USC, DePaul, at Georgia Tech, and at Boston College -- are all after Dec. 1.

Surgery for Rush hasn't been scheduled. At that point, a more precise return date will be determined. But the Jayhawks don't expect Rush to miss many games.

But Kansas shouldn't get too comfortable. Jayhawk officials don't plan on having Rush back for his senior season in 2008-09. They are recruiting with the expectation that Rush will enter the NBA draft after his junior season.

Rush declared for the draft out of high school under the old NBA draft rules. He then declared again this spring and under rules governing college underclassmen.

Rush cannot declare for the draft again and still retain his eligibility.

Kansas is already losing sophomore Julian Wright to the draft. Wright declared and decided to sign with an agent, meaning he can't return to school.

In Rush's absence, the Jayhawks will lean even more on their three guards -- Sherron Collins, Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers. Early in the season, the Jayhawks could go with three guards to play with a loaded frontcourt of Darrell Arthur, Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson and newcomer Cole Aldrich.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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