Johnson Out For 2-4 Weeks With Injury

Senior forward Brian Johnson will miss from two to four weeks at the start of the 2008-09 basketball season after a Tuesday night practice injury was further evaluated. The injury, to Johnson's left foot and ankle, will keep State's only scholarship senior from starting this Saturday's opening game with Centenary (2:00).

Coach Rick Stansbury confirmed through the Media Relations office Thursday afternoon that Johnson's injury will sideline him for at least the first two full weeks of this season, and possibly into December. There will be a follow-up evaluation on Monday by doctors to further update Johnson's status.

Stansbury had hoped to start Johnson in the opening game at big-forward, based on his slightly greater playing experience. Johnson did not start the last exhibition game, against Oklahoma City, due to illness during the previous week, but came off the bench and played timely minutes at each end in State's comeback win.

Freshman Romero Osby got the OKC exhibition start at the four-spot, and is one option for taking tipoff against Centenary. The other apparent choice is sophomore Kodi Augustus based on pre-season lineup work, with soph Elgin Bailey the backup at center to starter Jarvis Varnado.

Johnson's injury is all the more untimely as it cost the Dogs frontcourt depth just as Mississippi State begins the schedule by playing four games in an eight-day span.

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