Sherron Collins' mother, Stacey, was prepared to hop on a plane and travel from Chicago to Lawrence on Monday after hearing her son was headed to surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot.
"She even asked to come down and take care of me. I was like, 'I'm all right,'" said Collins, who had successful surgery Monday and, with the aid of crutches, was back in class Tuesday and Wednesday as he began his six-week stint on the sidelines.
"Everybody feels for me. (In class) people are 'Ooh, we're so sorry.' I just feel blessed we were able to catch this thing before it got worse. I see it as a positive."
Collins - he rolled his left ankle on the baseline while dishing to Sasha Kaun in Sunday's win over UMKC - learned he had an existing stress fracture after KU's medical staff felt his tender foot.
"They touched it right after I twisted it. I knew something wasn't feeling right. It wasn't my ankle. It was my foot. After the game I told them I felt it was something besides my ankle," said Collins, who had X-rays taken. "I never had symptoms, never felt pain (from existing stress fracture). It's good we caught it now rather than have it pop in late January."
The 5-foot-11 Collins - who weighs just over 200 pounds - says the key now is to make sure he doesn't gain any weight during the next three weeks. He won't be able to do any conditioning until his scar heals.
"I can't get it wet. I can't sweat or it could get infected," Collins said. "I have to continue eating right. I can't fall off to bad habits. I know all the hard work I've put in to get my body right. Instead of one step back with my foot, it could be two steps back with the weight. I'll not eat too much. I'll eat the right meals."
And he'll still attend practice and games.
"I will be there for my team like they are there for me," Collins said. "If I see something out there, I'll say something. They help me get through it, and I'll help them get through it. I'll be back a couple games before the Big 12."
In a wild twist, junior Brandon Rush is about ready to return from his ACL surgery just as Collins leaves the lineup.
"It's good he's back. It'd have been better if he came back and I would get to play with him," Collins said. "We've been missing him playing. Now they will miss me a little bit. Once we get together, we'll be a better group."