Alabama’s athletic department released information this afternoon that redshirt senior guard Andrew Steele underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia and will be sidelined four to six weeks.
Steele, the only senior on the team, averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19 minutes a game. Steele has not played since Alabama’s 59-46 win over Charleston Southern on Nov. 23. The Tide is 1-2 without Steele.
Steele’s injury compounds with the injury to center Carl Engstrom, who had surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn ACL and MCL suffered in Alabama’s 58-56 loss to Cincinnati.
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said he hopes to keep his team’s focus off what it lost and on its next opponent, Virginia Commonwealth.
“Our guys have to understand the sense of urgency and the importance of how we prepare for every game,” Grant said. “We have to control what we control.”
However, he does feel confident that Steele will be able to contribute to the team again in the 2012-13 season.
“If there’s anybody who is mature enough to handle it mentally, it’s Andrew,” Grant said. “He’s had his share of injuries and different things that have come up throughout his career.”
For now, Grant may be looking to some walk-on players to fill the void.
“They practice every single day,” Grant said. “They’ve got to be ready to go in there and impact the game. Every able-bodied guy has to be ready to go.”
Contributed by Brett Hudson