Fields' Rehab Slowed

There still is some question whether or not Pitt senior point guard Levance Fields will be available when the Panthers basketball team opens preseason practice Friday, Oct. 17, 2009, at the Petersen Events Center.

Levance Fields needed a second surgery on his left foot some five weeks ago, a bone graft procedure to stabilize the foot, and Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said that team officials and doctors are meeting with the player later today to determine how well he is progressing.

"It hasn't gone quite as well as we had hoped, because there has been some infection where they did the surgery,'' Dixon said. "So, that's been something that's happened, and we're meeting to check it out. It doesn't slow down the healing, but it may slow the rehab part of it. So, that's what we're looking into.''

Fields previously broke his fifth metatarsal -- the outermost bone that connects the little toe -- in his left foot Dec. 29, 2007, during a lopsided loss at Dayton, the game after Mike Cook suffered a season-ending knee injury. Fields missed seven weeks after that, but finished the season strong to lead the Panthers to the Big East Conference Tournament title and into the NCAA Tourney.

Fields took two months off after the season, per doctors orders, but played in Pitt's Pro-Am Summer League at Green Tree in suburban Pittsburgh and also participated in Phoenix Suns player Steve Nash's NBA point guard camp. Fields, however, did not participate in Pitt's offseason conditioning workouts in the spring or go through any on-court training.

After playing in the Pro-Am in June and July, Fields reportedly experienced some pain in the foot. After an examination, a slight fracture in the same bone was found. Instead of resting it again, Fields opted for the surgery. And he hasn't been the only Pitt player hampered by injury during the offseason.

"We've had some guys out,'' Dixon said. "Gilbert Brown was out for a while, (and freshman) Dwight (Miller) was out for a couple weeks with ankle problems. ... Sam Young had an ankle, too, but you can't get him to stop playing. He was supposed to stop playing, but he kept playing.

"We told him to take a couple days off, but we found out he was over at Trees Hall playing over there. Our trainer can't believe it, either. The thing's swollen, but he keeps playing on it. It doesn't seem to affect him when he plays, but that was last week. So, he's better now.''

Pitt has exhibition games against Seton Hill Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. and against La Roche College Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center before opening regular-season play against Fairleigh Dickinson Nov. 14 at the Pete.

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