Kansas forward Cam Martin’s return to the basketball court after nearly two full years off will have to wait a little longer.
Martin will be out for at least the next couple of weeks because of what KU coach Bill Self called a separated shoulder.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound super-senior was wearing a harness on his right shoulder at the team’s Ladies Night Out event on Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse as part of a name, image and likeness initiative put on by the Mass Street Collective.
When introducing Martin to the crowd of more than 400 women in attendance, Self joked that the sling was a ploy to get more attention from the Jayhawks’ guests.
But the injury was all too real for Martin, who told a couple of reporters at the event how he injured himself.
“Literally right after media day (on Tuesday), we were in the gym just warming up and I went to kind of block a little shot and I fell over (KU freshman) Ernest (Udeh Jr.) trying to catch myself," he said.
Martin said the injury occurred when he hit the ground after falling over of Udeh while trying to keep himself upright. He said he initially thought it was dislocated but that it was ruled a shoulder separation.
Martin said he and team doctors discussed surgery but that a “wait and see” approach was ruled to be the best move at this point.
“Now it’s a waiting game and hopefully, in three or four weeks, I’m good,” Martin said.
In addition to being in a fair amount of pain, Martin said he was extremely disappointed to have an injury like this occur so close to the start of the season.
“I’d waited so long to play and things were going really well,” he said. “I am pretty down, (but) I got the best news possible today from the doctor. I start treatment next week."
Martin said doctors indicated that a good goal would be for him to be back to full strength in time for the start of Big 12 Conference play.
Martin redshirted during his first season at KU in 2021-22 after transferring from Missouri Southern State and was slated to return this season as a super-senior for the 2022-23 Jayhawks. He’s one of five big men competing for playing time at the 5 for the Jayhawks during the upcoming season.
Self has said on a few occasions that all five — Martin, Udeh, KJ Adams, Zach Clemence and Zuby Ejiofor — were about equal in terms of production and performance through the preseason.
KU is slated to play host to Pitt State next Thursday in the team’s lone exhibition game of 2022 before opening the regular season on Nov. 7 against Omaha at Allen Fieldhouse.
As for Wednesday's event, for the first time in three years, the Jayhawks welcomed a group of ladies back into the Fieldhouse in person for a behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes into the program.
That included a tour of the facilities, including the KU locker room; a discussion with Self about how the team prepares for opponents; a skills clinic on the Allen Fieldhouse floor that featured Jalen Wilson leading the charge on the mic and games of "knockout" and defensive slide drills.
Both Wilson and sophomore KJ Adams said it was great to have the women back in attendance at the event after calling it off in 2020 because of COVID-19 and doing a virtual version in 2021.
Adams said he would have loved to have his mom in attendance but the scheduling did not work out. Freshman guard Gradey Dick's mom, Carmen, was in attendance, wearing a blue KU shirt that featured her son's image and name on the front.
In addition to the fun on the floor and throughout the facilities, the Jayhawks hosted a Q&A; session with the crowd, which revealed that Udeh is both the best singer and dancer on the team.
He demonstrated his chops at both, singing, "This Little Light of Mine" to the crowd, which accompanied him by clapping, and dancing to a song that Wilson pulled up on his phone.