For the second time in as many weeks, BSN Denver's @RyanKoenigsberg was the first to bring BuffNation dispiriting tidings. Colorado Basketball's Xavier Johnson has torn his Achilles tendon, and will be out for an extended amount of time. The injury was sustained earlier this month during offseason workouts. Coach Boyle reports that reparative surgery went well, and that recovery is already underway.
|Air XJ has been grounded, for the time being.|
It's a blow. A big blow. Recovery was already a buzzword for BasketBuffs, with the fan base looking forward to a bounce-back season after 2014-15's losing malaise. Now that recovery is also physical, rather than just results-oriented. The three year veteran can play a number of positions, is a nightmare to guard when he's in form, and is 1st Team All-Pac-12 material - extremely difficult to replace. To lose him before the season schedule is even finalized alters the landscape significantly.
If there's any silver lining to this, there is the fact that the injury happened early in the cycle, giving the roster and coaching staff plenty of time to adjust to life without Johnson. 'Tweener wing/forwards like Wes Gordon, Tre'Shaun Fletcher, George King, and Kenan Guzonjic will see their projected roles adjusted, and minutes increased. Their summer needs to be busy and productive.
The real question I have is: what does the future hold for Johnson? Will he still want to play in Black & Gold next winter? This was to be his last collegiate campaign, and it's anyone's guess at this point as to what his plans will be post-recovery. Assuming he can return to form, there's the prospect of pro ball (domestic or international) or a transfer out of the program for his final year of eligibility. However, should he stick in Boulder, as friend of the blog @TZiskBuff points out, the 2017 roster could be overloaded with veteran talent.
Get well soon, XJ! I hope to see you back at the CEC!