Instead of participating in UNLV's first basketball practice today, redshirt freshman guard Troy Cage will undergo knee surgery that will sideline him for about three months.
Cage has a partially torn patellar tendon in his left knee and his surgery is scheduled for noon today, according to Rebels athletic trainer Dave Tomchek.
"Hopefully, the rehab, if everything goes well, will be about a three-month period," Tomchek said. "Troy is handling it well."
The 6-foot-5-inch Cage was expected to get a lot of playing time and challenge for a starting role. He practiced with the team while sitting out last season and showed promise as a tough defender and versatile offensive threat.
Cage averaged 19 points per game as a high school senior in Baton Rouge, La.
Cage will miss UNLV's key nonconference games against Louisville, UNR, Fresno State, Arizona and Minnesota. He is expected to return early in the Mountain West Conference schedule.
"We're shooting for middle or late January. That's the goal, but you never know," Rebels coach Lon Kruger said. "It's real disappointing for him, especially coming off a redshirt year. It's really tough on young guys."
Tomchek said Cage's injury is similar to the one that bothered guard Michael Umeh for much of his senior year. Umeh was one of five seniors who graduated from last season's team that went 30-7 and reached the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.