Forward Thomas out with bad knee

After overcoming the obstacle of being academically ineligible for St. John’s University last season, Rob Thomas has yet another hurdle to overcome.

St. John’s men’s basketball head coach Norm Roberts announced that the 6-foot-6 freshman forward is going to miss an unspecified amount of time recovering from surgery and rehabilitating a surgically repaired knee.

The future seemed promising for Thomas, who worked hard to shed his partial qualifier status since September 2006 when he was deemed academically eligible as a full time student in January 2007. Thomas continued to sit out the NCAA-mandated “year-in-residence” and tend to his studies while looking forward to playing in December of this year.

But, two weeks ago, Thomas suffered tears in his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and lateral meniscus during a pick-up game.

Thomas was examined by St. John’s Assistant Athletics Director of Sports Medicine, Ron Linfonte, A.T.C, immediately after the injury and again later by team doctor Osric King, M.D.
After an MRI, St. John’s and New York Knicks team orthopedist Dr. Answorth Allen performed surgery four days after the injury.

Linfonte stated that injuries similar to that of Thomas’ can take anywhere between eight to 12 months to recover. If this is the case, it is likely that he will miss a huge portion of next season, or possibly the entire year, further depleting a Red Storm frontcourt that will be forced to rebuild with the losses of Lamont Hamilton and Aaron Spears.

“Rob’s injury is very unfortunate. He is a young man who has worked so hard academically and athletically to prepare to play at St. John’s next season,” Roberts said in a St. John’s press release. “We are disappointed for Rob, but we know he’ll work extremely hard to rehab and be back as soon as he is ready.”