CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The news was not as bad as John Shulman originally feared, but it wasn't much better, either.
An MRI on Wednesday night revealed University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshman forward Casey Jones does not have a torn ACL, but he does have a variety of serious knee injuries that will sideline him for the foreseeable future.
"It is not an ACL tear, which was feared, but there are some complications down there," Shulman said Thursday. "There's a possible fracture down there to the bone, so to give you a definite answer about his status -- I can't.
"Does he need surgery? I don't know. Does he need a screw inserted? I don't know. Is there some meniscus damage? I don't know. All I know is that he won't be in uniform for at least a little bit."
That "little bit" of time missed could potentially be the entire season, but Shulman wasn't confident enough to go into any more specifics.
Jones, who started each of UTC's eleven games this year, was injured early in the second half of last week's 108-78 win over Reinhardt. He underwent an MRI when he returned from Christmas break.
"It's tough to lose a player like Casey because he was just starting to get used to the game on the college level," said sophomore guard Ronrico White. "He was really starting to develop his niche on this team, but now the show must go on.
"The rest of us will just have to step up."
White is one of those that will be asked to do more as the Mocs continue to go to work with less.
Jones is the third starter to go down with a serious injury, joining point guard Dontay Hampton (torn ACL) and forward Lance Stokes (broken foot) on the bench. Reserve forward Drew Baker is also out, leaving the Chattanooga roster with just nine scholarship players and one walk-on available.
White, a natural shooting guard, previously moved to point to fill in for Hampton, but will now slide down to the small forward position to replace Jones. True freshman Farad Cobb will now become the starting point guard, with fellow freshman Alex Bran backing him up.
"We may have just gotten better offensively with Rico moving to the '3,' but are we going to be able to stop anybody?" Shulman said. "Those are our three best defenders sitting on the bench with injuries. We're just all going to have to grow up."
The Mocs have a chance to get some quick experience for their new-look lineup with back-to-back games in the Dr. Pepper Classic on Friday and Saturday night. UTC opens with High Point at 7 p.m. ET Friday, then plays either Austin Peay or Utah Valley on Saturday.
"I got my hair cut a long time ago and asked the lady to fix this spot that is balding. She told me she cuts hair, she's not a magician," Shulman joked. "That's how I feel right now. I coach basketball. I'm not a magician.
"We're down to ten players left, but we're just going to coach those players as hard and as best as we can coach those players. We'll move some people around and see what we can do to make things work."
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