Foot fracture sidelines Texas A&M's Atunrase

Updated: December 3, 2006, 11:31 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M's Morenike Atunrase will miss at least four weeks and possibly as many as six after suffering a foot fracture during the second half of the Aggies' first loss of the season Dec. 1 against Rice.

Atunrase fractured the fourth metatarsal in her left foot, according to Texas A&M women's basketball athletic trainer Mike Ricke. No surgery will be needed, but the 5-foot-10 junior guard/forward has been fitted with a 3-D boot and must use crutches while rehabilitating the injury.

Atunrase leads the 10th-ranked Aggies with 17.1 points and 1.9 blocks per game. She currently ranks sixth in the league in scoring and is tied for third in 3-point field goal percentage (54.2). One of five league players to be named to the preseason All-Big 12 team, Atunrase has not missed a game since stepping on campus. She was the Big 12 freshman of the year in 2005.

"This is obviously a huge blow to our program, but we are confident Danielle Gant will be able to step up and fill in for Morenike in our lineup," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. "Morenike is the most well-conditioned athlete I have ever coached. She went two years without an injury, but sometimes these things happen to the best of us. We anticipate her coming back for the beginning part of the Big 12 Conference season."

A top 30 candidate for this year's prestigious John R. Wooden Award, Atunrase is the school's all-time leader in single-season blocked shots (58) and is 10 shy of the all-time record in blocks with 128. Atunrase has played in 70 career games with 63 starts for the Aggies, who were ranked a school-best No. 10 this week in both national polls.

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