Men's Basketball Loses Another Player

And the hits just keep on coming for Alabama Men's Basketball Coach Anthony Grant. Just a day after it was announced the Tide had lost 7-1 center Carl Engstrom, on Thursday Grant announced that Bama's small squad had been cut by anohter player, at least for a month or more.

Andrew Steele, the lone senior on Alabama's basketball team, has had much bad injury luck in his career. On Thursday it was announced that Steele, a 6-4 guard from Birmingham, would be out at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery Thursday morning o repair a sports hernia.

Steele had previously missed parts of the past two seasons with injuries.

Grant said that because Steele had been able to come back from injury that he expected his senior to be "mentally tough enough"to return.

The surgery was performed in Philadelphia by the most accomplished doctor in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of core muscle injuries (sports hernias), William Meyers of Vincera Core Physicians.

Steele has played in 78 games in his career. He had played in five games this year, averaging 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He had not seen action since the Charleston Southern game on Nov. 23.

Alabama has been out of action this week for final examinations. The Tide will be at Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond to take on the Rams at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. central time) Saturday. CBS will televise the game.

Alabama is now down to eight scholarshipped players. Grant said the Tide would not "take anything off the table" in terms of offense and defense, but would have to manage personnel, which is the case regardless of numbers. Bama has only eight scholarshipped players active, but has a handful of walk-on players, including some who have seen meaningful playing time.

Grant pointed out that losing players affects preparation, too, and that walk-ons had to fill an important role there and now will have to also impact games.

Alabama is 6-2, but coming off back-to-back losses at the hands of Cincinnati and Dayton. VCU is 6-3, but has had close losses to the likes to Wichita State (51-53), Duke (58-67), and Missouri (65-68).

Alabama hired Grant from VCU. As part of Grant's contract with the Rams, the team he left for had to agree to a couple of games. Bama is 4-0 against VCU, including a 72-64 win over the Rams in Tuscaloosa last year.

Grant called VCU a "talented, well-coached" team.

The Tide coach said his focus was not at all on returning to his former team, but rather on getting his team prepared to play basketball.

Bama continues on the road next Wednesday at Texas Tech and returns to Coleman Coliseum Saturday, Dec. 22, against Mercer.

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