High-scoring guard Jhivvan Jackson’s return from a knee injury is now projected for “early December,” UTSA men’s basketball coach Steve Henson said Tuesday.
Late in the summer, Henson and his staff were hopeful that Jackson would be able to play in the Nov. 7 season opener against St. Edward’s.
But the coach confirmed the new timetable after putting his team through its first official practice at the Convocation Center.
“The doctor, in studying that data, just changed his philosophy a little bit,” Henson said. “It pushes his return back. Which increases his chance for a full recovery, which is what we want.
“But we’ll miss him in some of those games now.”
The Roadrunners will play seven games in November, a schedule that includes a Nov. 12 home date against the Oklahoma Sooners.
They’ll play another six games in December, including a Dec. 15 game in North Little Rock against Arkansas.
Conference USA play opens Jan. 3 at home against the UTEP Miners.
Last season, Jackson set the school’s freshman scoring record with 534 points and led the team with 18.4 per game.
He suffered the injury on Feb. 24 in a home game against Louisiana Tech and sat out the remainder of the season, during which UTSA finished 20-15.
It was UTSA’s first 20-win season since 2011.
The former Puerto Rico junior national team guard had surgery in the third week of March.
UTSA is expected to be strong again this season, with a backcourt including returning standouts Jackson, Keaton Wallace and Giovanni De Nicolao.
Before Jackson returns to the lineup, Henson could go with a starting guard personnel that would include Wallace, De Nicolao and Byron Frohnen, who swings between the wing and power forward.
Or, he could plug in one of his two freshmen standouts — Adokiye Iyaye or Tamir Bynum.
Senior Nick Allen leads a contingent of post players that include Adrian Rodriguez, newcomer Atem Bior and Toby Van Ry.
“We’re a veteran team right now. I think we can step up and show what we can do this year. Of course, we can still shoot from three. We can run. We just got to improve on some defensive things.” — UTSA junior guard Giovanni De Nicolao.