Kansas University junior basketball player Mario Little had surgery Thursday to repair the stress fracture in his lower left leg, KU coach Bill Self said Friday.
A rod was placed in Little’s leg to facilitate healing of the injury that plagued Little his entire junior season, Self indicated.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder from Chicago should be back on the court by June 1.
“I don’t think it will be a setback at all,” Self said. “The doctors think the surgery went great. He hasn’t been healthy since he’s been here. He was injured when he arrived (from junior college) and never was 100 percent. That’s been frustrating for him. Hopefully he’ll be 100 percent for his senior season.”
Self said the stress fracture was “partially healed,” so doctors decided on the surgery.
KU’s medical team performed the surgery in Lawrence. Per KU policy, the name of the doctor was not revealed.
“The stress fracture is in an awkward place,” Self said. “It’s right in his lower leg that takes the brunt of the blows (in jumping and landing). It was not real painful, but it was not 100 percent.”
And the rod in the leg?
“You’ve heard of having surgery where they put a pin in your foot? This is a rod in his shin. It should work fine,” Self said.
Little played in 23 of KU’s 35 games his first year out of Chipola (Fla.) Community College. He averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds while logging 12.5 minutes a game.
Little — he said he first felt discomfort in his lower-left leg shortly after his sophomore season at the juco ended — nearly took a red shirt this past season, but decided at the end of the nonconference season to play. He also was hampered by a broken bone in his left hand in the nonconference campaign.