RJ Luis Jr. will miss a month for St. John’s due to shin splints: ‘Got a bad break’
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. That didnt last long.
St. Johns had its full complement of players for all of one game.
RJ Luis Jr., the talented wing who returned in last Saturdays rout of Holy Cross, is back on the shelf.
The UMass transfer is dealing with shin splints and likely will be out for the next month, coach Rick Pitino said after the Johnnies 79-73 win over West Virginia at WVU Coliseum.
We got a bad break, Pitino said. With RJ, he was killing it in practice, playing terrific. These guys have to lift each other up, because RJ was a big cog coming back and now were back to square one with that.
The injury isnt new.
The 6-foot-7 Luis has dealt with shin splints in the past and it flared up after he scored 14 points in 16 minutes on Saturday, sources said.
Luis tried to practice through discomfort, but wasnt able to do so for more than a few minutes.
An MRI exam showed the extent of the injury.
RJ Luis, talking to reporters before the season, is likely to miss a month because of shin splints. Charles Wenzelberg / New York PostHe will rest until he gets reevaluated and undergoes a second MRI in two weeks.
Pitino suggested Jan. 2 against Butler as his possible return.
The one positive is that St. Johns is in the soft part of its non-conference schedule and should be able to survive without Luis for the time being.
He missed the first five games after suffering a fractured left hand in an open practice on Oct. 1.
St. Johns escapes West Virginia with win in ugly Big East-Big 12 Battle
But by the time he returns, Luis will be well behind his teammates, and the league season will be upon the Johnnies.
Pitino had planned to use Luis as a small-ball power forward when starter Chris Ledlum wasnt on the floor.
He even suggested potentially starting Luis on Friday before the extent of the injury was known.
Instead, Glenn Taylor Jr., who is more of a distributor and defender than a scorer like Luis, remained in the starting lineup.
This likely means more playing time for Drissa Traore, who was used as Ledlums backup while Luis was out, or possibly freshman sharpshooter Brady Dunlap.
So is going small with three-guard lineups the backcourt is the Johnnies deepest position.
There are options for Pitino.
Luis was a major offseason addition, a highly skilled wing with positional versatility who was an All-Atlantic 10 freshman team selection last winter.
He averaged 11.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and shot 34.8 percent from 3-point range.
He is a shot creator on the wing that St. Johns was excited to get back.
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