Barber Not Expected to Return This Season

One of Auburn's key men's basketball players has still not recovered from an injury.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Jeff Lebo was hoping that injured junior Korvotney Barber would be able to return this basketball season, but on Thursday the Auburn head coach told Inside the Auburn Tigers that Barber will not be back in action this season and that Auburn plans to apply for a medical hardship redshirt.

"We are going to start the process right away," Lebo says. "I don't know how long that takes. We will try to get all of the paperwork in. I would say in a couple of months, by the summertime, we will know what they decided."

Barber suffered a broken bone in his left hand in a Dec. 29th game vs. Towson State and has not played since then. He had a pin inserted to help the healing. That has been removed and he has tried to practice, but is not close to being ready to play, Lebo notes.

The hope was that the 6-7 forward would be out for only four to six weeks, however, the injury has been slow to heal.

Barber makes a move to the basket in a December contest.

At the time of his injury, Barber was leading the nation in shooting percentage at 72 percent and was Auburn's leading scorer at 13.8 points per game, leading rebounder at 6.9 per contest and leading shot blocker with 1.3 per game.

Under new a new NCAA rule, a player qualifies for a medical hardship redshirt if he plays in fewer than 30 percent of the regular season games. Barber played in 10 contests this season and is just several minutes of playing time over the limit.

Lebo says with the new rule in place, he doesn't have a feel for how successful the appeal will be for the junior, who wants to return for a fifth season in 2009-2010 if the NCAA grants his appeal.

Signed by Lebo as a McDonald's All-American out of Manchester, Ga., High, Barber broke into the starting lineup as a freshman and averaged 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. He improved those numbers to 11.3 points per game and 6.6 rebounds as a sophomore.


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