Originally published October 11, 2012 at 03:04p.m., updated October 12, 2012 at 12:00a.m.

KU basketball notebook: Freshman Peters out for month with shoulder injury

Kansas freshman Zach Peters poses for a photo inside Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas freshman Zach Peters poses for a photo inside Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University freshman basketball forward Zach Peters will be out four to six weeks because of a left shoulder injury, KU coach Bill Self reported at Thursday’s Media Day in Allen Fieldhouse.

Peters, a 6-foot-9 freshman out of Plano, Texas, has a rotator cuff injury that will not require surgery.

“He will be held out of all contact,” Self said. “We are hopeful that he’ll be back on the practice court sooner rather than later. Zach will still be participating in other team activities. It’s been a nagging injury that has been bothering him over time that has affected his ability to play on the court. We feel he should make a full recovery with time and rehab.”

Self indicated that he truly has no idea when Peters will return. KU’s first big game is against Michigan State on Nov. 13 following two exhibitions and the Nov. 9 opener versus game SE Missouri State.

“This deal has me all confused on Zach. He’s doing so good, but he complained of shoulder problems. He can’t rebound. He can’t do this. He can’t do that,” Self said. “We tried giving him time off; it didn’t work. We tried rehabbing and it hasn’t worked. One thing about Zach is he’s going to play a certain way. He won’t be able to help us over time if he keeps injuring himself. He needs to be healthy. We’re going to give him some time. I don’t know how long it’ll be. I am hopeful not long. Time and rehab based on what I’ve been told from our medical staff should take care of it. But it may be an extended period of time. We definitely don’t want to go the surgical route. He’d be out for the season. Hopefully ... I don’t want to put too much of a guesstimate on it, but we’re probably looking at four to six weeks, which would put him way behind, but we’d have him ready to go by conference play if it lines up right.”

As far as a possible red-shirt season, Self said: “I won’t make that decision now. He was one of our better players in Europe. I do think we need him, but it’ll give some other guys some opportunities too. So you don’t know how that’ll play out when he comes back. If he’s far behind, maybe that’s a possibility. I’m not even thinking that far ahead. To me I’m looking at it like he’s got a high ankle sprain and will be out four to six weeks.”

First in poll: KU is the unanimous pick to win its ninth consecutive Big 12 regular-season conference title, according to the preseason coaches poll that was released Thursday.

KU (81 points) garnered all nine first-place votes, as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. It’s the 11th time in Big 12 history that KU has been at least tied for first in the poll. Baylor (63 points) was accorded KU coach Bill Self’s first-place vote and placed second, its highest finish ever in the preseason poll. Oklahoma State (60), Texas (58) and Kansas State (54) were next in the predictions, followed by West Virginia (45), Oklahoma (34), Iowa State (28), Texas Tech (18) and TCU (9).

“I was probably more surprised with us being picked first this year than I was us in the past. We lost three of our top six and two of them were pretty good,” Self said of NBA players Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson. “Those two guys combined for 36-plus points a game in league play. I mean, they scored half our points. So we lost a lot and everybody is going to have a new role, but I do think we have a chance to be good by the end. But our league will be good and Baylor’s loaded and I think that Oklahoma State in my opinion may be the sleeper team of them all. I love their talent level and their roster, but it is going to be a really good league. K-State to me, they returned really good players and two real good players and Texas — what was Texas fifth and West Virginia sixth? — and these are really good teams. Then there are other teams that will be much improved. I think that was a little high for us, but hey, we will welcome it and our guys will take pride in that.”

This, that: Evan Manning, who missed about a month with a severely sprained ankle, said he should be able to play in tonight’s Late Night in the Phog scrimmage. Ben McLemore, who suffered a hip flexor injury in August and played sparingly during two of KU’s four games in Switzerland and France, said he’s close to 100 percent. He said he hoped to be able to ram a dunk or two for the fans at Late Night. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., today, with the show to begin at 6:30 p.m. ... High school junior prospects to attend Late Night: Clayton Custer, a 6-0 point guard from Blue Valley Northwest, ranked No. 100 by; Lourawls Nairn, a 5-9 guard from Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita ranked No. 79 and Elbert Robinson, a 6-10 forward from Lakeview Centennial in Garland, Texas ranked No. 43. ... James Young, a 6-6 senior from Rochester, Mich., on Thursday orally committed to Kentucky over KU, Syracuse and Michigan State.


Chris Berge 9 years, 7 months ago

Is he a redshirt candidate? I can see him really growing if he were one. Does the exhibition tour in Europe take that chance away?

702Hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Freshman are allowed to play in exhibition games without taking the ability to be red shirted. After their freshman year a play would have to also sit out the exhibition games in order to red shirt.

This is a huge bummer. He is going to be a great Jayhawk.

Andy Godwin 9 years, 7 months ago

Not a chance you want to redshirt Peters. He will bring hustle and toughness down low. He is the guy who will get his fair share of 50:50 balls (Self's favorite measure of team toughness). Watching him, he has a knack for getting all of the rebounds and can create the garbage baskets that a team like this will need. This would be a huge loss if he is out for a long time since he has the bulk to pound in the paint when the match ups don't favor Withey. Lucus is a more likely candidate if any of the big men where to redshirt.

FarSideHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't think the exhibition games take away from redshirt eligibility.

He should be back by the 2nd game of the season anyway.

It will be interesting to see how much missing practice will set him back.

Will it be enough to let Landon Lucas take his minutes for part or all of the season?

gchawk 9 years, 7 months ago

This is a tough break for Zach, sure hope he heals quickly and completely. It's kind of ironic that he got through football basically unscathed, but injures his rotator cuff now. Guess this is a testament to just how tough practice is.

Hurinfan 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't think he'll redshirt. Coach rarely redshirts freshmen also I hear Zach is a much better player than his rank indicated. He has a big body and can rebound well. We need a center behind Withey too.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

Zach's natural position is as a PF but I guess he might be the 1st off the bench to give Withey a rest. I still see Withey as the only true center on the team.

Geezer 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't think that Bill has ever red shirted a freshman, at least not without the NCAA's help.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 7 months ago

If it's a tear & not a strain, it's never good. Saying it's non surgical does not say if it's necessary to heal because surgury isn't on the menu or not required. Absolutely the worst injury I've ever had. Others say the same, plus the friggin surgury makes the pain much worse for a couple of months afterwards, then you have months of rehab. If you're a baseball/football athlete & is your throwing shoulder, you're pretty much done. After a month on the shelf he'll know if he needs to redshirt. As the injury progresses you can't lift, then put on a coat or shirt, can't lift the weight of your arm (15-20 #), can't lean on it, sleep, wash your Can't use it at all till it gets fixed. It just plain & simple sucks. And the surgury sucks worse. I certainly wish this young man the best, cause if it's a cuff it's possible it may be a really tough process. Anyone remember someone posting about him playing football & getting injured? Can't recall who it was, but one of our boardrats did just that.

PayHeedAll 9 years, 7 months ago

If I recall correctly he did have a shoulder injury from playing HS football. Hopefully our trainers can patch him up for good...this kid is going to be a beast

gchawk 9 years, 7 months ago

After what I posted earlier I got to thinking about it, and I believe you're right. Man I hope this isn't a nagging injury that hangs on for a long time. Was Wayne Simeon's injury his rotator cuff?

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 7 months ago

No, he dislocated it in high school against Shawnee Mission East, then dislocated the same shoulder in that game in the Sprint Center against CSU when he rammed it into the bottom of the rim.

soapisurfriend 9 years, 7 months ago

And James Young to UK is official. This class is going to be stupid. I'm thinking Lee is the next piece as soon as Monday afternoon.

FarSideHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

With Randle and/or Gordon next, this class will be the best at Kentucky under Calipari, if not best ever, that is saying something.

If they gel as well as the last year's team was able to, the championship is theirs to lose.

Comparatively speaking, this year's class and team doesn't look as good, but people are still picking them as preseason no.1. KU has to get a couple of top guys to be able to compete with UK in 2013-2014 season.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 7 months ago

I expect Wiggins to reclassify and sign with UK as well as Randle. If so, would be easily the greatest class of all time considering 5 of top 7 recruits would be going to the same school. Gordon is most likely staying out West with Washington or Arizona. Lee is 50/50 between UK and Cal. Don't be surprised if UK is better defensively this year and they led the country in defense % last year. Offensively, it will take more time to get but have the talent.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 7 months ago

KD...once again, I didn't say defensive efficiency...I was referring to defense fg% of which UK led the country with a 37.4%. As for the shot blocking category, AD averaged 4.65 blocks per game while Withey averaged 3.59 for the year. Comparing Withey to Davis definitely isn't very smart for Jeff

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm not too worried about UK having a great class this time, wasn't going to be a strong title contender from KU next year anyway most likely. Actually if Wiggins reclassifies that allows me to hold out some hope Randle will come to KU.

Zach's injury on the other hand flat out sucks. Sounds like he'd really been working hard, doing well, this will set him back. Hopefully he doesn't need to redshirt, but I'd rather have him redshirt this season than risk losing him for next season if he can't get past the injury.

Jonathan Andrews 9 years, 7 months ago

Get well soon, Zach. Hopefully it won't cost you any games; but if this injury lingers, he would be a great redshirt candidate.

jhwkfanincali 9 years, 7 months ago

"I'm not just looking for the NBA. I'm looking for an education and a national championship and that's about it.". ----James Young

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Here's a James Young quote ..

"I'm just looking for my best college, the one that's going to get me one-and-done and give me the best opportunity to get out there," Young told recently.

Priest Fontaine 9 years, 7 months ago

If UK lands Wiggens and Randle (or Gordon), I'm going to start my own investigation. This is getting rediculous. Hopefully this time KU can counter with signing a blue chipper or two of their own (Selden, Randle or Gordon).

John Randall 9 years, 7 months ago

Is it acceptable to ridicule that reediculous spelling?

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 7 months ago

nope, not one letter off and not when it's a bloodbath on the recruiting trail for those going up against Cal this year, so maybe there's a red pun in there somewhere

Priest Fontaine 9 years, 7 months ago

Are you really critiquing spelling on the comments section of a sports blog? Who does that?

Priest Fontaine 9 years, 7 months ago

Wishing you a speedy recovery Zach. In the meantime, grow your hair out. By March you will look like a viking. Let Pollard give you some style tips.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Imagine if this had happened last season.

Its incredible how lucky last season's team was injury-wise.

Jamari's and Landon Lucas' minutes just spiked.

Jeff Withey's times per game of being brutalized just spiked.

Bad as this suction is for Zach, it maybe worse for Jeff, Kevin and Perry. Their chops are going to be busted from the tip off until Jamari, and Landon, prove they can come in and retaliate and deliver blows.

They are just absolutely going to tea off on Jeff.

Be ready, Jeff. Start taking some karate lessons. You're going to need to be able to kick some crotches and chop the wind pipe most games.

John Randall 9 years, 7 months ago

Not sure why you think having Travis and Elijah at 70-80% most of the year with injuries was "lucky."

When they "tea off," will it be hot or iced?

Michael Luby 9 years, 7 months ago

Ahhh crap, I hope its not a tear. He could be out longer if it is. Good point about the brutalization factor Jaybate.

KanKu 9 years, 7 months ago

This pretty much blows for Peters. I had a torn labrum a couple of years ago and it took what felt like FOREVER to recover.....and now my other one is "stretched". Hopefully the staff at KU can rehab him good enough for solid minutes this year.

This injury helps show Self doesn't want to run into what he did last year....sign some guys with size, even if they are outside of the top 100, for the needs of the team. Lucas may not turn into a Simien.....or even a Graves......but hopefully this forces him to step up his game to add to our now semi-depleted depth.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 7 months ago

My labrum tear was an inch. The doc was real laid back, had done hundreds of these surguries and calmly said, "It's going to be worse after the surgery." I had no clue so I asked how much worse? He again calmly replied,"Let me just say that one millimeter of movement will cause you great pain." And he wasn't $chittin either. After they drill the bone in several places to reattach the muscle, it's like someone smacking you with a sledgehammer when you just try to stiffen the arm up. He wanted me to stay in the harness for 8 weeks, but I think it was more like 6. Also he said most people sleep sitting up in a chair for the first week to ten days. No friggin way. I took lots of oxy & went to bed for about 2 straight weeks. Even personal hygiene is an enormous task. I'm not sure I would have that surgery again under any circumstance. The % of re-tearing it again is also very high. No more weight lifting over the head, no pull ups, driving fence posts, zero, nada, zilch. When you get a tear, all bets are off. I sure hope this young guy doesn't have one cause if he does, he'll never be the same.

DDDHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Zack, do whatever it takes to heal correctly, and we will see you soon!

REHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

This injury is illustrative of the reason for our needing solid dependable backups, prepared to step up for essential game minutes. What good fortune for the Jayhawks last season, no one out for 30 days or more; a feat not to be expected in the normal course of a top-level competitive season. Here's hoping that Zack mends quickly. Football is indeed a toughening experience, but the chances for lingering injury of participants is high and barely escapable. Landon Lucas has been offered an early opportunity to earn game experience prior to league play. One would hope that all newcomers find and utilize the facilities of Andrea Hudy and the training staff, right from their first week of enrollment.

Michael Sillman 9 years, 7 months ago

I find it interesting that it is his left shoulder considering that he is right handed. Normally rotator cuff injuries that require surgery affect the dominant shoulder due to overuse through the years as a pitcher, quarterback, or tennis player. Gradually the shoulder falls apart.

That leads me to believe that this injury is the result of a collision that was not bad enough to keep him from playing football or basketball. However, he was never allowed to heal completely.

I see no reason to doubt the official prognosis that a month of rest and rehab will bring him back good as new.

At least we have a lot of choices of bigs this year that will get extra minutes in Peters absence.

Beate Williams 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree with globaljaybird on many points; had a rotator tear a couple of years ago, I'm no spring chicken but I think with the rehab I had the shoulder is better than ever, at least I have more flexibility. It was not the labrum tear to which he references but all the pain he talks about was there. I'm not one to use a lot of pharmaceuticals so I did have to sleep upright for a couple of weeks; and it is difficult to express to you the hygiene problem; think, you are in a cast that is essentially taped to your side and you have absolutely no movement and you are in that position for 4-6 weeks, just imagine what you face when you are able to move that arm outward, it's frightening. It was my left shoulder and I was 60 at the time; a couple of years later I could feel the same happening to the right shoulder and went to have work done on it before it reached the same deteriorated level of the left. They were able to go in and work on it without all of the surgery precautions of the initial. Not sure if I was too cocky or what, but even though the right was not as bad as the left, the right did not heal like the left, at least I don't have the kind of flexibility I now have with the left. I'm sure the precautions being taken with Zach at this time will put him in a position of full recovery and I say this based on the fact I'm sure he has the very best medical folks looking after him and though I feel my doc is very good, I'm sure the people Self has working on his players are top notch.
Zach do as you are told and we will get a chance to see you this season and looking forward to it.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe if Zach redshirts, Randle will see he can play with Zach at KU for four years and commit to the Jayhawks today!!!

[Estimated time for departure of butt monkeys, 2:30 pm CST]

Hang in there's a long season. Worst case scenario, eignt weeks which that puts his return in December, maybe in time for the 12/08/12 Colorado game. At least he can run and keep his endurance up.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Well, damn. Get healthy, Zach. KU is going to need you this year!

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 7 months ago

If it's a tear he'll need surgery, pure and simple.

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