Syracuse basketball unlikely to know Dajuan Coleman's status until at least November

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The health of Dajuan Coleman will likely remain a question mark until the start of Syracuse's exhibition season.

(Dennis Nett | syracuse.com)

Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said the Orange likely won't have any idea if Dajuan Coleman can play this season until the team is set to begin its preseason games. Even that late date represents the best-case scenario for the junior from Jamesville-Dewitt High School.

Boeheim, who addressed the media after returning from winning a gold medal as an assistant coach with USA Basketball at the FIBA World Cup, said if things go well with Coleman's rehabilitation from knee surgery it will still take until November for the Orange to gauge his ability to contribute.

"I've said consistently that this was a bad knee surgery," Boeheim said. "This wasn't a go-in-and-fix-this-ligament type of thing. He's worked unbelievably hard, as hard as you could ever ask anyone, every day. His surgery was different, more complex, more complicated, than any of the other surgeries we've had."

Coleman averaged 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 13 minutes last year while shooting 58.3 percent of the floor. His presence, along with Rakeem Christmas, would give the Orange a relatively experienced front-court this entering season. His absence would leave Syracuse light in the post.

Boeheim said that Coleman has been limited to running in a swimming pool and physical therapy exercises but he will begin light jogging over the next couple of weeks.

He said Coleman has continued his successful weight-loss efforts and has shown great dedication in his efforts to return to the court for SU, all of which makes all the uncertainly especially difficult.

"When the beginning of practice starts, we don't know how much he will be able to do," Boeheim said. "I'm thinking it will be at least two or three weeks into the practice period before we know anything. He could be fine. He could have swelling. We don't know."

Boeheim said the knee will have to respond well to running, then running and jumping, and then running and jumping over a prolonged period of time before Coleman's true health can be measured.

If Coleman's rehabilitation doesn't go well and he suffers setbacks, the Orange may know before the start of the season if it will have to play without him.

"We might know negatively before then," Boeheim said. "But if things go well, we won't know for sure until November. He might be playing by then. He might be just running and jumping at that point. Obviously if he's playing, that's a good sign. Then we have to see how it holds up."

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