Kansas University junior forward Mario Little, who has been bothered by a stress fracture in his lower left leg off and on since last spring, will sit out the next two to four weeks of basketball practice and games as he continues to receive treatment.
"Mario's leg is not responding. He's going to take an extended period of time off," KU coach Bill Self said Friday. "It's just not getting better, so we're going to take an approach where he's totally off it. We'll let the stress fracture continue to heal as opposed to trying to work through it now."
Little has his left foot in a boot and was using crutches Friday to keep weight off his leg.
"There's not much rehab you can do," Self said. "He'll do the bone stimulator. He'll ice. He'll do a few things basketball-wise, but we're not going to let him be on the court for at least two weeks, but that's probably going to be closer to four."
Little, last year's junior college player of the year at Chipola (Fla.) Community College, figures to miss KU's Nov. 4 and 11 exhibition games. The regular-season opener is Nov. 16 versus UMKC.
"He hasn't felt right since he's been here," Self said of Little, who said he first felt pain in pick-up games after the conclusion of last season. He took some time off after KU's Labor Day weekend trip to Canada, but has felt pain again lately.
No surgery is being considered at this time.
"It is showing that it's healing," Self said of X-rays of the fracture. "We will take the approach to totally stay off it awhile."
And if it bothers him after returning in a few weeks?
"Probably just give it more time," Self said.
KU junior guard Tyrone Appleton, who has yet to practice in live drills because of a hip flexor injury, has been able to participate in non-contact drills where he can run straight ahead. He is unable to cut. Self has said he hopes Appleton can return within a week.
¢ Clinic begins: Several hundred small college, junior college and high school coaches are in town for Self's annual coaches clinic. The coaches attended Friday's practice, will attend a morning session of camp, watch KU's football game against Texas Tech, then return for a late-afternoon clinic session.