No timetable for Yarou's return

Updated: December 1, 2009, 8:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Villanova center Mouphtaou Yarou has tested positive for hepatitis B and is out indefinitely.

The 6-foot-10 freshman started the first two games of the season for the third-ranked Wildcats (6-0).

Yarou, a native of Natitingou, Benin, in West Africa, had traveled with the team two weeks ago to a tournament in Puerto Rico, but returned to Philadelphia because of his ailment.

Head coach Jay Wright told ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil that Yarou initially found out about the disease after routine bloodwork was done before the season. He was re-tested twice to confirm the diagnosis.

"The strange thing is, he has no symptoms," Wright said. "He feels fine, looks fine. That's why he took the test three times. We couldn't believe it."

Yarou can work out but must practice alone. Although the disease is not generally contagious, there is a slight risk and so Villanova will heed every precaution before allowing Yarou to rejoin his teammates.

Wright said doctors don't want to offer a timetable for his return, but the coach said he would be surprised if the forward returned this season. Because he only played in two games, Yarou should be eligible for a medical redshirt.

"If his bloodwork comes back normal at any point, we can consider it," Wright said. "But doctors aren't even talking basketball right now. I'd say it's unlikely he'll be back."

The school said on its Web site that Yarou is under the supervision of team physician Dr. Frank Furman.

Yarou is averaging five points and four rebounds per game.

Information from ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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