Brother says Rush tore ACL

Jayhawk guard to go under knife next week, JaRon Rush says

Sunday, May 27, 2007

JaRon Rush spoke to his younger brother Brandon on the phone at 10 a.m. Saturday, just after the injured Kansas University basketball player climbed out of a soothing pool of water.

Brandon was in good spirits, big brother said, even after informing his sibling he'd need surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee.

"He tore his ACL. He'll have surgery next week (performed) by the KU doctors. He said they told him four to six months (rehab time)," JaRon Rush said. "Everything is good. He knows he'll be back. He knows he'll be fine."

KU coach Bill Self - who has declined comment about the possible severity of Rush's injury that was sustained playing basketball on Wednesday - on Saturday reiterated there would be further examination of Rush's knee early next week, with a final evaluation made at that time.

"He tore his ACL. He wouldn't have decided to pull out of the draft if it wasn't that," JaRon said, referring to Friday's announcement that Brandon had withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and elected to return for his junior season. "You always want to get a second opinion (in this case from a Colorado specialist), but it's a torn ACL."

JaRon said he talked extensively with Brandon about ACL injuries during their phone discussion Saturday. JaRon Rush tore his left ACL in November of 2005.

"I was back playing in May," JaRon said, "but it took longer than that to get strong. I didn't have the expert attention Brandon will have every day at KU. I think he thinks they'll do a great job (on the knee) and he'll be back this season."

Amazingly, JaRon and Brandon hurt their knees the same way.

"I was going up for a layup, and my knee went out on me. He did the same thing. It wasn't even a game or anything. My friend says it's the 'Rush curse,'" JaRon said.

JaRon said Brandon's mood had improved considerably since Wednesday, when he suffered the injury.

"He was crying to his mother that he hurt his knee. He didn't even want to come back to school," JaRon said. "I talked to him today, and he's fine. He does want to be totally healthy (before playing again)."

KU coach Self said his stance involving comment on the matter was the same as Friday.

"He has hurt his knee. He'll be evaluated in detail next week. Anything more than that is speculation," Self said. "We'll find out how severe when it's evaluated fully."

Rush's AAU coach, John Walker, said Saturday "they said they need to let some of the swelling (inside of knee) subside and let the specialist in Denver evaluate the tests."

He agreed with JaRon that Brandon was handling the injury well.

"To be hurt is tough on anybody. He's handled that part well, knowing he's going to be back at KU because he loves his teammates and he loves being there.

"Even during the whole draft process, he's been talking about the team and the team's schedule and how competitive they could be. I think this (coming back) will reaffirm the progress he has made at KU, and he'll still have the opportunity to land a dream job that's been his goal."

More on the bright side ... "I think it will give him a chance when he comes back to be an improved player, because much of what he can do at first will be things like dribbling drills," Walker said.

JaRon said his brother could handle whatever surgery might entail.

"Of course. He messed up his arm (in tumbling accident 10 years ago) and came back from that," JaRon said. "He's a hard worker and will do what it takes."

¢ Wedding bells: Former KU basketball player Christian Moody was married to Nicole Lynn Henry on Saturday in Lawrence. Henry is a 2001 graduate of Lawrence High and a 2006 graduate of KU. Moody is a 2002 graduate of T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, N.C., and a 2006 graduate of KU.

¢ Wright on Celts' radar: Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe that KU's Julian Wright was on the squad's list of draft possibilities.

The other players: Florida's Corey Brewer, Al Horford and Joakim Noah; North Carolina's Brandan Wright; Chinese forward/center Yi Jianlian; Georgetown forward Jeff Green and Florida State forward Al Thornton.

The Celtics are focused on players 6-foot-7 and taller, the Globe said.

¢ Dicky V impressed: ESPN's Dick Vitale praised KU coach Bill Self in his Friday blog on ESPN.com.

"You have to give Kansas coach Bill Self a lot of credit for his willingness to play a tough nonconference schedule. He already faces the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech in the Big 12, yet he is willing to face a competitive list of foes out of conference," Vitale wrote. "Consider this: among non-Big 12 opponents this season, Arizona, Southern California, Georgia Tech, Miami (Ohio) and Boston College each played in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, while DePaul advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT. Self compares it to the 2005 season, when his schedule strength was ranked number one in the RPI. USC (with O.J. Mayo), Georgia Tech and Boston College are also on the road, making it even more challenging."