For the second time in three years, James Rojas has suffered a significant injury setback. The Alabama basketball forward underwent surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee Tuesday, Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats confirmed. According to a university release, Rojas is expected to make a full recovery and is anticipated to be available in time for SEC play of the coming season. Alabama’s conference schedule has yet to be released, but conference play typically begins in late December.
Rojas’ surgery was performed by Dr. Lyle Cain of Andrews Sports Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, Ala. Dr. Cain previously performed a successful surgery on Rojas’ right knee after he tore his ACL during the fall of 2019.
“We are disappointed to lose Rojas, but he is as tough as they come,” Oats said in a release from the university. “He had a similar injury two years ago on his right knee and responded well to the rehab process. I am confident that he will attack this rehab in an aggressive, similar fashion and will be surrounded by the best doctors, athletic trainers and sports medicine professionals to help him throughout the entire process. We are confident he will be available for us during the SEC season.”
Rojas played in 30 games last season, making one start. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward averaged 2.9 points and 2.6 rebounds over 11.1 minutes per game. He shot 35 percent from the floor, including 23.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Rojas is the most experienced member of Alabama’s returning front court after the Tide lost senior Alex Reese and graduate transfer Jordan Bruner this offseason. Alabama returns redshirt junior Juwan Gary as well as sophomore Keon Ambrose-Hylton at the forward position. It will also see the debut of forward Alex Tchikou, who suffered an Achilles injury that kept him out of the entirety of his freshman season last year. In addition, the Tide added Rivals100 freshman forward Charles Bediako while also bringing in Furman graduate transfer forward Noah Gurley.