One of the crown jewels of Providence's decorated 2012 recruiting class may not be healthy enough to play next season.
Kris Dunn, a McDonald's All-American point guard, aggravated an existing shoulder injury while trying out for the U.S. U-18 team in Colorado earlier this month, the Providence Journal reported Monday.
Doctors will evaluate Dunn this week to determine whether surgery is necessary to repair the injury. If so, Dunn could miss up to six months, which would put his 2012-13 season in serious jeopardy.
The absence of Dunn would slow Providence's momentum from a recruiting class coach Ed Cooley hoped would reverse the program's sagging fortunes. There already are concerns at Providence over whether fellow prep-All-American Ricardo Ledo will qualify academically to play next season for the Friars.
With Dunn and Ledo joining a roster that returns double-digit scorers Bryce Cotton and Vincent Council, Providence seemed capable of making a jump in the Big East standings and contending for an NCAA bid as soon as next season. Without one of them, a huge leap becomes less realistic. And without both, a repeat of last year's uninspiring 15-17 season becomes more and more likely.
All Providence can do now is hope Dunn's MRI results offer hope that another treatment besides surgery could be effective. Otherwise the Friars may have to come to terms with the frustrating possibility that their reemergence may take longer than expected.