Monday , Dec , 20 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Jayhawks’ Simien undergoes thumb surgery

Lawrence, KS (Sports Network) – Kansas forward Wayne Simien is expected to be
sidelined 4-to-6 weeks after having surgery Monday to repair tendon damage in
his left thumb.

Simien, the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, suffered the injury during
the second-ranked Jayhawks’ 64-60 victory over South Carolina on Saturday. The
senior forward was fouled with 13:45 remaining and headed to the locker room
to have the thumb taped. He would later return to finish with 20 points and 11
rebounds, notching his sixth double-double in seven games this season.

The 6-9 Simien was scoring at a team-best 17.4 points-per-game clip and
currently leads the Big 12 with an average of 12.0 rebounds per outing.

“We all feel for Wayne but after visiting with Wayne, his family and all the
doctors who have seen him, I strongly encouraged Wayne to go through the
procedure,” said Kansas head coach Bill Self. “We believe having Wayne 100
percent the final two months of the season is far better than having him 60 to
70 percent.”

Simien, a third team All-America selection last year, missed at least one game
due to injury in each of his first three seasons. As a sophomore he played in
just 16 of the Jayhawks’ 38 contests due to a dislocated right shoulder.