Senior shooting guard Cam Wright reportedly had surgery on a fractured left foot and will be out for the next 10 weeks.
Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the news via twitter on Friday evening:
#Pitt basketball: Cam Wright out ten weeks with a fractured left foot. Had surgery. Josh Newkirk obvious player to step into Wright's spot— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) September 26, 2014
Obviously this is a huge blow to the Panthers, which will now lack veteran leadership heading into the new season. Pitt has thrived through the years with program players that have elevated their games by their senior seasons. Cameron Wright was expected to follow the long line of players like Brad Wanamaker, Tray Woodall, and Lamar Patterson as the next Pitt player to have a big senior season. Derrick Randall is the only other senior presence in the rotation going into the season.
This opens the door up for Josh Newkirk to start in his place. The sophomore guard looked excellent in the off-season and is poised to play a major role for the Panthers in 2015. Another possible replacement could be Chris Jones, a redshirt sophomore who is also slated for increased playing time this season. Don't forget about Durand Johnson either. Johnson can play either the two or three spot, but is coming off an ACL injury himself.
There is no doubt that Cam Wright's injury is unsettling for a young Panthers team. Still, the Panthers have ample depth to hold things down in the early going, but with a long road trip to Hawaii in November, Wright's presence will be missed there. If all goes well, Wright could be back by mid-December just before the Panthers ACC schedule begins.