The New London Day reported the injury Monday night, with Dunn telling the paper he was hurt during a tournament in March. Dunn is expected to have surgery in about two weeks, after which he will wear a sling for three months, followed by two months of recovery.
"We're looking to move forward with him, have the surgery, rehab him and see where he is after that rehab," Cooley said Tuesday. "We may have a miraculous healing. You never know. I'm always optimistic."
Dunn, a McDonald's All-American, is one of Cooley's top-incoming recruits as the coach continues his efforts to rebuild the Friars, who last visited the NCAA tournament in 2004.
Dunn told the paper that he experienced further pain in the shoulder throughout his trip to the USA Basketball Under-18 training camp in Colorado Springs later in the spring. An MRI conducted by the Providence athletic staff revealed the more drastic nature of the problem.
"Sometimes kids hurt and don't know why they hurt," Cooley said, when asked about the delay in Dunn's diagnosis and treatment. "Some young men may not have the resources to have MRIs and X-rays. It was more just about being educated."
Dunn and shooting guard Ricardo Ledo are the most highly touted members of Cooley's 2012 class, which ESPN recruiting analysts rank as the nation's sixth-best. Dunn is ranked No. 23 overall in the 2012 ESPN 100 and is the No. 2-ranked player at the point guard position. Ledo is the No. 6-ranked shooting guard. The backcourt tandem marked an optimistic second-year recruiting haul for Cooley, who is seeking to lift the Friars out of the Big East cellar.
"You really feel more for the young man," Cooley said. "He's never had an injury, never had to miss games, so I'm more concerned with his emotions and how he is going to develop after this, much more so than our season. The Providence Friars are still going to play."