AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Villanova announced Friday freshman forward Cam Whitmore will have surgery on his right thumb.
“We’re disappointed for Cam,” head coach Kyle Neptune said. “Throughout the preseason he’s worked hard to learn our concepts and what it takes to be effective in the Big East. This is temporary setback, though, and we know Cam will approach his rehab with a great attitude.”
Whitmore will be re-evaluated in early November to determine when he might return.
The Maryland native was the No. 14 overall player in 247Sports’ composite rankings for the 2022 class. He was also projected as the No. 5 overall pick in the most recent mock draft for Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman.
“Explosive, physical and energetic, Whitmore has developed a knack for earning easy baskets by tapping into his strength, leaping and motor,” Wasserman wrote. “But it’s still his budding skill level as a shot-maker and passer that has changed his perceived trajectory.
“Between his 6’7″, 232-pound frame and athletic abilities, and improved shooting and ball skills, Whitmore comes off as a high-floor, high-ceiling fit for every roster.”
Whitmore’s status for the start of the 2022-23 season is now thrown into flux. It seems reasonable to expect him to miss at least a few games, with the Wildcats opening the campaign Nov. 7 against La Salle.
He isn’t the only Villanova player battling an injury, either.
Justin Moore is still recovering from his Achilles tear in March. Caleb Daniels is nursing a broken nose. And Trey Patterson suffered a sports hernia.
Succeeding a legendary head coach such as Jay Wright is never easy. All of these injuries aren’t doing Neptune any favors as he prepares for his first year in charge.