Basketball Senior Has Surgery Following Injury

Auburn will be playing a man short when the Tigers open the men's basketball season on Friday night.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn senior Ronny LeMelle will miss the start of the exhibition men's basketball season and probably a lot more due to a knee injury suffered in a scrimmage over the weekend.

LeMelle, a 6-5, 200-pound senior guard/forward, had arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday afternoon at HealthSouth in Birmingham. It is not known how long he will be out of action.

LeMelle had a slight tear of the medial meniscus in his right knee. Early this year, he suffered a broken bone in his foot and missed summer workouts.

"It was a slight tear," says Auburn coach Jeff Lebo. "Hopefully, with aggressive rehab we will have him back soon. I hate it for him. He was hurt with his foot in the summer and wasn't able to do anything. Now he came back and got hurt again. I know he wants to get back to play against Temple because it is a homecoming game for him."

LeMelle is a native of Harrisburg, Pa., which is not far from the Temple campus in Philadelphia. He injured his knee taking a charge in a scrimmage on Saturday vs. Chattanooga.

LeMelle was expected to be a key player for the Tigers when first-year Auburn head coach Lebo's team hits the floor this Friday night in an exhibition game vs. Lee College, an NAIA school that is off to a 4-0 start in its season

LeMelle averaged six points and 2.1 rebounds last season after transferring to Auburn from Western Oklahoma State College, a juco program where he averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds as a sophomore. He is originally from Harrisburg, Pa.

Ronny LeMelle

With the Tigers having just one player taller than LeMelle, 6-11 freshman forward Ryan Daniel, the senior was being heavily counted on to rebound and play defense against big men.

After recovering from an offseason foot injury, LeMelle had played well in the preseason practices.

There is no admission charge to Friday's game at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, but fans are asked to bring a canned food item for the East Alabama Food Bank

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