The bone Lansing is referring to is the navicular bone, which can be tricky. Doctors tried to let it heal on its own after the first surgery in September, but it didn't. This surgery this time was a delicate process. "Have to take a bone out of his kneecap and put it in his arch," Lansing said.
As for a time table for Lansing to return to the game, Lansing has told reporters that they will err on the side of caution. The earliest Samuels, nicknamed Big Mike by his teammates, could return is January.
Samuels, a 6-foot-11, 285 pound center, was selected for the team because of his ability to guard big guys. "We took Mike so he could guard Creighton center Echenique, the big guys at Wichita State and Carmichael at Illinois State," said Lansing. "We thought we had the biggest guy in the league. He has a good touch and he would have been able to help us with 15-25 minutes a game. We've been without that, didn't have it last year, and we are going to be without it a lot next year."
The Sycamores are looking very thin on their front court, with just Justin Gant, Jake Kitchell, and TJ Bell. "We've been out on the road last couple of weekends at AAU events. Every staff in the country is looking for big guys," Lansing said. "I have the best staff in the country. We have searched the earth and have a lot of good connections. We are going to be just fine. If we have to play a little bit undersized next year, we will just have to play a little bit undersized and get people in a different way."
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