Sooners center Longar out indefinitely with broken bone in leg

Wednesday, February 6th 2008, 10:39 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma center Longar Longar will be out indefinitely with a broken bone in his right leg.

Sooners coach Jeff Capel said he doesn't have a timeframe for Longar's return because of the nature of the injury, which caused him to sit out the Sooners' 64-54 loss to No. 12 Texas on Wednesday night.

"I don't know what you would call it. It's right above the ankle," Capel said. "He broke it the first 3 minutes at Texas A&M, so he played his butt off and showed a lot of toughness in that game to play the last 13 minutes.

"I can't tell you when he's coming back because it depends on how quickly it heals. Mother Nature has something to do with it. There's not much treatment you can do for a broken bone."

Capel was hopeful that the 6-foot-11 Longar, the team's second-leading scorer with a 13.2-point average, would be able to play again this season but didn't rule out the possibility he wouldn't return.

"We think so, but maybe not. I don't know. I'm hearing we are, but I don't know," Capel said.

Longar was in street clothes and didn't put any pressure on his right leg while using crutches to get around. He sat at a table near the Oklahoma bench and took part in the Sooners' huddles during timeouts.

With Longar out, forward Taylor Griffin made his 10th start of the season alongside his brother, leading scorer Blake Griffin. The duo combined for 31 points and 24 rebounds against Texas.

Walk-on Beau Gerber also played 6 scoreless minutes off the bench, grabbing one rebound.

"It is what it is. You have to find a way. That's the way of life," Capel said. "Everything in life doesn't go the way you plan it. You have to find a way to be successful, and we'll find a way."

The Sooners lost Blake Griffin earlier this season to a sprained ligament in his left knee, but he missed only one full game when he was expected to be out as long as four weeks. Several other Oklahoma players have been fighting through lingering injuries.

"I've never been around anything like what I've been through the past year and a half with guys getting hurt -- ever," Capel said. "I've never seen anything like it in my life."

Even without Longar, Taylor Griffin said the Sooners (15-7, 3-4 Big 12) have to approach the rest of the season as though they can win every game. Oklahoma plays at Colorado on Saturday.

"It's going to be tough without him. We only have two post players, and then (guard) David (Godbold) has to play a little bit of (power forward) in there," Taylor Griffin said. "It's not going to be easy, but it's doable."

Beyond scoring, Longar is also second on the team in rebounding average (5.9) and he leads Oklahoma with 25 blocks.

"I don't make excuses," Capel said. "We have to figure out a way, and we will figure out a way."