Senior guard Dontay Hampton will miss at least the first two months of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's 2012-13 basketball season because of a torn ACL.
Hampton, the incumbent starting point guard, will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair his right knee, and that will be followed by about six months of rehabilitation.
"He was in the gym working out on his own last Saturday, and he cut on it funny and kind of tweaked it," Mocs coach John Shulman said. "He went to a trainer and they say it was a tweaked meniscus. But the swelling didn't go down and the MRI shocked everybody."
The No. 1 point guard now is Farad Cobb, who is among the group of five freshmen already on campus for summer practice.
"I hope Farad is ready to roll," Shulman said. "He is a real confident kid. I told him that he's going to have to grow up really fast and lead us at the point. He said, 'That's what I planned on doing anyway.'"
Sophomore Ronrico White and freshman Gee McGhee also will practice and play point guard at times.
"You'd much rather have it happen now than later," Shulman said. "We'll prepare without Tay and hope that we'll get him back sooner than later."
Hampton began his career as a walk-on and redshirted his freshman year of 2008-09, which essentially eliminates the possibility of another year of eligibility.
Last year, Hampton played in all 32 games, averaged 7.1 points and hit a game-winning shot against Appalachian State.
"The doctors are going to say he's out for six months and that's fine, but I'm not going to put a timetable on it," Shulman said. "We're going to work and shoot for less than six months. I hate it for Tay."
Shulman is suffering through his own injury. An errant baseball broke his jaw on July 5. He said he was walking out to meet his wife for dinner when one kid overthrew another.
"I never saw it coming," Shulman said. "I went straight to the ER and the oral surgeon the next day. I had a chicken sandwich on July 5th, and that's the last thing I've eaten."