Cal's leading returning scorer has sustained an injury that will likely sideline him through the start of practice this fall.
Senior guard Justin Cobbs will have surgery Friday to put a pin in his right foot after breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in a San Francisco Pro-Am game on Monday night, Cal announced Wednesday. He will miss six to eight weeks, which would put Cobbs' return up to two or three weeks after the start of practice on Sept. 27 but likely well before Cal's season opener against Coppin State on Nov. 8.
It's imperative for Cal that Cobbs is both back on the floor and fully healthy by the start of the season because's he is the Bears' most explosive playmaker. He averaged 15.1 points and 4.8 assists as a junior last season, earning second-team all-Pac-12 honors and helping lead Cal to the round of 32 of the NCAA tournament.
Assuming Cobbs isn't ready by the start of practice, Cal coach Mike Montgomery has two options.
Montgomery could use the first couple weeks in practice to get Tyrone Wallace more experience playing point guard and to give freshman Sam Singer a look at the position. Or the Cal coach could backload Cal's preseason practice schedule so that the Bears have the most possible practice days once Cobbs becomes available in hopes they'll jell better before their season opener.
Regardless, this injury is a setback for Cal but it's far from a death blow. Better to lose Cobbs in mid-August than mid-November.