Update: 5:15 p.m.
LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones said late Monday afternoon that there was nothing new to report on the injury that senior guard Keith Hornsby is dealing with, although he will be sidelined for Tuesday night’s game at Arkansas.
Jones said Hornsby hadn’t returned from a late-morning visit with his doctors when Jones met with reporters for his twice-weekly media availability around 12:30 p.m., just before the Tigers departed for Fayetteville, Ark.
After their arrival, Jones said the doctors will continue to evaluate Hornsby, who was hurt late in the first half of Saturday’s loss at Tennessee, as “things calm down around his injury.”
He said Hornsby, who’s believed to have aggravated the hernia injury that required a surgical procedure in November, accompanied the team on the trip. But Jones said he won’t play in the crucial game against Arkansas and would be day-to-day for Saturday’s home game with Florida.
“Hopefully, he can do what he’s always done with his teammates: showing leadership,” Jones said of having Hornsby in the locker room and on the bench for Tuesday night’s game.
Jones did say doctors haven’t ruled out Hornsby possibly being out for the remainder of the season, which ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported early Monday morning. At his midday news conference, Jones labeled the ESPN report “erroneous.”
Jones did acknowledge for the first time that the injury has something to do with the sports hernia procedure Hornsby underwent Nov. 3 -- just 10 days before the Tigers’ regular-season opener. He missed seven games but returned Dec. 13 and was the team’s second-leading scorer in averaging 13.1 points in 20 games.
Hornsby likely will be replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore Jalyn Patterson, although Jones said it’s likely that a committee of guards will have to join forces to pick up the slack.
Update, 1:55 p.m.:
LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones said Monday afternoon he still hadn’t received a final injury report on guard Keith Hornsby and labeled an ESPN report earlier in the day that Hornsby could be out for the rest of the season as erroneous.
Speaking at his twice-weekly news conference just after noon, Jones said Hornsby was still visiting a doctor, who was reviewing X-rays and tests that were done Sunday afternoon -- one day after Hornsby aggravated a hernia injury in a game at Tennessee.
“The doctor is going back through some other procedures today and trying to make sure they can rule everything out and find out exactly what it is,” Jones said. “The prognosis is there’s nothing definitive, so we’re still waiting.”
Jones did acknowledge that the injury has something to do with the sports hernia surgery Hornsby underwent on Nov. 3 -- just 10 days before the Tigers’ regular-season opener. He missed the first seven games, but returned on Dec. 13.
Regardless of the outcome of the tests, Jones said he expects that Hornsby won’t be able to play in Tuesday night’s game at Arkansas as LSU tries to climb back into NCAA tournament contention with four regular-season games remaining.
Nearly midway through the LSU basketball team’s third loss in four games on Saturday, an 81-65 setback against Tennessee that further damaged its NCAA tournament aspirations, the Tigers took another major hit.
Senior guard Keith Hornsby, one of the team’s inspirational leaders and second-leading scorer, aggravated a hernia injury and could be out for the remainder of the season. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, citing a source, first reported the news Monday morning.
Speaking on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference Monday morning, LSU coach Johnny Jones said he hasn’t gotten a final report yet after Hornsby underwent X-rays and testing during a doctor’s visit Sunday evening.
Jones said he expected to know more by early this afternoon.
“He’s had his X-rays and we’re not sure exactly the extent of Hornsby’s injury right now,” Jones said. “We do know he will be slowed down for a bit.”
Jones said the doctors were doing their due diligence in “going through all the procedures to find out exactly where he is” and not jump to any conclusions.
But Jones admitted the ESPN report could be correct.
“There’s a chance that he could be out for the rest of the season, but I don’t know that as of yet,” he said.
Hornsby left Saturday’s game with 2:41 to play in the first half following a scramble in which he reached down to recover a loose ball, then appeared to run with a little difficulty the next couple of times up and down the floor.
He checked out of the game at the next dead ball and appeared to reach for his abdomen when he was approached by LSU trainer Shawn Eddy, who attended to Hornsby at the end of the bench.
Hornsby didn’t play in the second half and could only watch as Tennessee pulled away for the easy victory.
The loss dropped LSU to 16-11 overall and 9-5 in the Southeastern Conference going into its next game on Tuesday night at Arkansas. While the Tigers are in a three-way tie for second place in the league, just one game behind Kentucky, their RPI dropped to 89.
Hornsby underwent sports hernia surgery on Nov. 3 -- 10 days before the regular-season opener -- and was sidelined for the first seven games. He was cleared to play for a Dec. 13 game at Houston and came off the bench to pour in a career-high 32 points in a 105-98 overtime loss.
After missing the first seven games, Hornsby started 19 of the 20 games he played in and averaged 13.1 points despite not scoring in 12 minutes against Tennessee. He also averaged 2.9 rebounds per game.
With Hornsby sidelined, Jones will have to get more offensive production out of guards Tim Quarterman and Antonio Blakeney.
Sophomore Jalyn Patterson is likely to return to the starting lineup in place of Hornsby and freshman Brandon Sampson could be asked to step up and play more minutes than he has this season.
LSU has been slipping in ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi's projections after losing two straight. After Saturday's big loss at Tennessee, Lunardi dropped the Tigers out the tournament.
Bubble update: IN: Texas Tech, Alabama, Butler, Bonaventure; OUT: Vandy, Tulsa, St. Mary's, Oregon St; NEXT: LSU, Clemson, GW, Washington.— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 21, 2016