TCU post Karviar Shepherd will undergo surgery on his non-shooting left hand Tuesday morning and will miss an undetermined amount of time, coach Trent Johnson said.
The freshman injured his hand in the first half against Kansas on Saturday while scrambling for a loose ball.
“We’ll take it day to day,” Johnson said. “The most important thing moving forward, obviously with the physicality of the league and our lack of depth, I don’t want to put him out there until he’s ready to play. It’s no different than Amric [Fields’] situation or losing any one else. We have a lot of experience with this, so we’ll just take it one day at a time.”
The injury leaves TCU with seven scholarship players available. Preseason injuries sidelined Devonta Abron and Aaron Durley, and transfer rules have prevented Chris Washburn and Trey Zeigler from playing in 2013-14.
In his two seasons at TCU, Johnson has rarely had a full, healthy roster. A year ago, a knee injury in the third game ended Fields’ season. He didn’t return until the fourth game this season. Four games later, he broke his non-shooting hand and missed the next four games. Jarvis Ray missed the final 22 games a year ago with an injury.
This season, Fields and Hudson Price both have struggled to get back into playing shape after recovering from ailments. Price, who started the season opener, missed six games after dealing with a serious illness. He’s finally seen an increase in his minutes in the last four games.
Meanwhile, guard Charles Hill Jr. has been sidelined with academic issues and won’t be available the rest of the season.
It’s all enough to make a coach feel as if he’s been cursed.
“I don’t know about all that,” Johnson said during Monday’s Big 12 teleconference. “I just know this: we have seven more scholarship guys and several more that are walk-ons, and it’s my responsibility to get them in a position where they can play the best basketball.”
Shepherd’s absence is especially difficult for TCU (9-10, 0-7 Big 12). With Durley sidelined, there are no healthy posts available, leaving the Horned Frogs without a legitimate replacement of the 6-foot-10 Shepherd. Fields, a 6-9 shooting forward, appears to be the best candidate.
Shepherd is averaging 8.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while starting all 19 games for TCU. The Frogs play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Texas Tech.
Still on point
Through all of the roster upheaval, point guard Kyan Anderson continues to impress Johnson.
“Some way, somehow, he manages to show up and play and continue to play,” Johnson said. “He shows up and plays hard every game.”
Anderson has started nearly every game the last three seasons since coming from North Crowley High School but has seldom played with a healthy team.
“He made a comment the other day in frustration and I understand it. He said, ‘It’s nice to play with all my bullets,’ ” Johnson said. “We have to keep moving forward, but the kids have been good [dealing with the injuries].”