Dunn faces right shoulder surgery

Buy Photo Tim Martin/The Day Kris Dunn grimaces while working on his injured right shoulder during New London's Class LL quarterfinal round game against Windsor on March 12 at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. Dunn, who is preparing for his freshman season at Providence College, aggravated the injury while training with USA Basketball's U18 team recently and will undergo surgery in the coming weeks.

A right shoulder injury is expected to sideline Providence College-bound Kris Dunn for approximately five months, threatening to derail his highly anticipated freshman college basketball season.

Dunn, a McDonald's All-American guard out of New London High School, is expected to have surgery in about two weeks, his father John Seldon said Monday. After the procedure, Dunn said he'll wear a sling for three months and follow with two months of rehabilitation.

"I have a torn labrum," Dunn said. "I've got a fracture in my bone. It happened during the NFA game during the ECC tournament (on March 1). I got fouled hard and I kind of dislocated it a little bit and it popped back in real quickly.

"… I went to a couple trainers and physical therapists and they said it was just bruised. So I just kept playing on it and I thought it would go away if I just iced it, and it didn't."

The injury continued to bother Dunn for the remainder of his senior season and beyond. While attending the USA Basketball Under-18 training camp three weeks ago in Colorado Springs, Dunn experienced persistent pain.

"That's when I felt something was really going down," he said. "Every time I tried to play defense, or play offense or go up for a dunk, it just kept popping out."

U.S. coach Billy Donovan advised Dunn to stop playing and return home to be evaluated. Dunn consulted the Providence athletic department medical staff, where an MRI revealed the problem.

Dunn took the news hard.

One of the best players ever to come out of Connecticut, Dunn is a key part of Providence's highly-regarded recruiting class. Friar fans flocked to Dunn's games last season.

Now he'll likely have to sit out for about five months, hoping to return by about the midway point of the season.

"It's very tough," Dunn said. "I just can't play basketball, that's all I know. Just sitting out for five months not being able to play basketball will be totally different. It's a disaster for me and my family. It's a downfall for us.

"Hopefully, I can bounce back. Providence fans wanted to see me and Ricardo (Ledo) and other new recruits coming in. Hopefully, they understand the process that I'm going through and I'll get back on my feet."

Seldon is optimistic his son will be healthy enough to play by the time the Big East season begins in late December. Sitting out the season as a medical redshirt will be another option.

"After everything is done, me and my family will sit down with the (Providence) coaches and see what's best," Dunn said. "If they feel like I shouldn't come back quickly, then I'll probably redshirt."

Dunn will focus on his academics in the upcoming months. He'll attend summer school at Providence.

"He's just got to go up there and study," Seldon said. "That will be his main focus. … He'll take summer classes up there and just concentrate on school and get familiar with things."

g.keefe@theday.com

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