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The once-promising career of BYU Basketball forward Chris Collinsworth is over with the news that he will undergo another surgical procedure.
Almost two years after a knee injury that led to microfracture surgery and caused him to miss most of the last two seasons, Collinsworth will have a similar surgery on his left ankle.
Collinsworth last meaningful minutes for BYU early-to-midway through the 2010-11 season, when he was joined by his younger brother Kyle on the roster. The siblings played only nine games together before the elder Collinsworth's knee injury ended his sophomore campaign. Kyle went on to play in 36 games as a Cougar freshman, and will return from his LDS mission to Russia to rejoin the basketball program in time for the 2013-14 season, but will not continue his career alongside brother Chris, as had been hoped.
BYU head coach Dave Rose announced today's news in the following school-issued press release:
PROVO, Utah - BYU basketball coach Dave Rose announced today that sophomore forward Chris Collinsworth will have career-ending microfracture ankle surgery.
"I can't imagine the disappointment that Chris and his family must be feeling at this moment," Rose said. "I wish him the very best with this latest setback and hope his ankle can be repaired and heal with a full recovery. Chris is a wonderful competitor and a great teammate and we will miss him very much. I will always respect and admire his desire, dedication and passion to return to the court to help his teammates. I wish Chris, Tatum and their families the very best in this difficult time."
Collinsworth's BYU career began in 2007-08 when he played 35 games and started six before serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia. That season he averaged 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 points for a Cougar team that won 27 games and reached the NCAA Tournament.
"This will be my third-straight year having surgery and all have been pretty serious," Collinsworth said. "It's been really hard physically and mentally and it's time to move on. When the door on one opportunity closes, others open and I'm ready to move on and explore those other options.
"I'm very grateful to my coaches, the medical staff, my teammates and the fans who have supported me the past two years and who will continue to support me through this. It's frustrating because I've been a part of such great teams and had such great teammates but I haven't been able to fully contribute since my freshman year. I wish them all the best."
Knee issues have limited Collinsworth to 11 games during the past two seasons. After playing nine games, including four starts, and averaging 5.9 points and 5.6 rebounds early in the 2010-11 season, he had microfracture surgery in January 2011 on his right knee and was sidelined the rest of the year. Collinsworth played the first two games in 2011-12 but swelling and pain in the same knee sent him to the bench. He had arthroscopic surgery in December 2011 and began rehabbing to prepare for this upcoming season.
During summer workouts Collinsworth began experiencing pain in his left ankle. A recent MRI revealed the need for microfracture surgery, which Collinsworth will undergo later this week. Recovery is expected to take eight months.
Prior to BYU, Collinsworth played for Craig Drury at Provo High School where he was a first-team all-state honoree as a junior and senior. He led the Bulldogs to the 2007 state title and was the 2007 Gatorade Utah Boys' Basketball Player of the Year.