M College BB
Weekly lineup
 Wednesday, January 12
Jefferson to have foot surgery Tuesday
By Andy Katz

  TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona starting forward Richard Jefferson is scheduled to undergo surgery on his fractured right foot Tuesday, an injury which could sideline him for at least eight weeks.

Jefferson was injured Saturday in the third minute of the Wildcats' 68-65 victory over Stanford.

"I wish I could be back tomorrow -- but now that I know I can't, I will just have to make sure I get back as soon as possible," Jefferson said. "Believe me, I will be back as soon as I can and I will work as hard as I can during the rehabilitation process."

Arizona basketball trainer Ed Orr said Jefferson is expected to make a full recovery. Jefferson will wear a boot for the first four weeks of his recovery, and is targeted to return March 9 for a home game against Stanford.

Jefferson had started all 15 games for the No. 2-ranked Wildcats this season and was averaging 12.2 points and 4.9 rebounds.

He is the team's leading 3-point shooter (.452) and is third is field goal percentage (.532).

The Wildcats have completed the toughest road trip in the Pac-10 by sweeping Cal and Stanford. They play host to the Washington schools this week before going to UCLA and USC next week.

Redshirt freshman Luke Walton will replace Jefferson in the starting lineup. He has played in all 15 games and can score inside. But he could be a liability defensively. That's where opponents will try to gain an advantage by going with quicker lineups to create mismatches. Stanford wasn't able to drive on the Wildcats, but look for the Bruins and Trojans to attempt to exploit that matchup.

"We can't lose another perimeter guy," Arizona assistant Jay John said. "If you do, you start to wonder defensively, who will guard whom? That's where we could be vulnerable right now."

The Wildcats lost reserve guard Lamont Frazier to a season-ending injury and backup wing Ruben Douglas when he transferred to New Mexico because of a lack of playing time. They are already down a forward after Robertas Javtokas returned to Europe. That leaves the Wildcats with seven scholarship players.

"From a mental standpoint, the more they recognize they're needed, the more alert they stay," John said. "With seven guys and 200 minutes, everybody is going to average, 28 minutes. From that standpoint we should be ready to play every game."


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