Knee surgery sidelines Orekhova
USF 6-foot-2 senior guard Inga Orekhova, the top returning scorer from the Bulls' NCAA Tournament team last season, will miss roughly 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery Monday to her left knee, Coach Jose Fernandez confirmed.
No medical redshirt is anticipated. "We expect her back," Fernandez said.
A preseason all-American Athletic Conference pick, Orekhova had an MRI early last week. Fernandez didn't specify the nature of the injury, but it coincided with her erratic shooting touch at the season's outset.
In six games, she's tied for fifth on the team with 7.0 points per game, shooting 25.9 percent (14-for-54) from the floor and 8-for-33 (24.2 percent) from 3-point range.
Orekhova was limited in the second half of a 93-35 romp of N.C. Central on Nov. 17, and came off the bench four days later against Clemson, when she scored six points (2-for-10 from the floor) in a 68-63 loss.
"We went through some testing and stuff and some treatment, and then it just progressively got worse," Fernandez said.
As a junior, Orekhova averaged 12.7 points and sank a team-best 82 3-pointers. For now, sophomore Courtney Williams, the team's leading scorer (16.0 ppg), will replace her in the starting lineup. Boca Ciega alumnus Tamara Taylor (11.3 ppg) also could get extended minutes.
"Injuries happen and different circumstances come up. It's part of being a team sport," Fernandez said. "We're just going to have some other guys step up. Hopefully she recovers well from the surgery and her rehab goes well and she gets back ready to help us back out."