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Sedee Keita out 4-6 weeks

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The transfer big man hasn’t started to get comfortable at St. John’s; now he will be sidelined for much of non-conference play.

NCAA Basketball: Loyola-Maryland at St. John Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s will have to fend off the size of Rutgers on the road without Sedee Keita — and Georgia Tech, California, and possibly even Princeton as well.

After a total of 14 minutes — including four minutes against Bowling Green before heading into the locker room and being worked out on an exercise bike — the 6’9” South Carolina transfer Keita will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

The procedure was performed this morning (Wednesday).

Assuming a successful recovery, 4-6 weeks takes Keita out for the game this weekend against the very tall Rutgers squad, along with the Legends Classic against California and either VCU or Temple, and the game in Miami against Georgia Tech.

The Red Storm have mostly played without Keita in their two games, but against lower-level opposition. Despite not being thought of as high-end teams, Georgia Tech, California, VCU and Temple will have more highly regarded athletes than Bowling Green and Loyola-Maryland put on the floor.

The Red Storm, dealing with a quick five-foul, 10 minute debut from Keita last Tuesday, have combined to rebound well; Mustapha Heron has been an excellent defensive rebounder, with LJ Figueroa putting in solid work.

Perhaps Josh Roberts and Marcellus Earlington will see some spot time to slow the game down and battle for rebounds as well.

For Keita, expected to be a major cog on this year’s team, the earliest return could be for Mount St. Mary’s on December 5th; six weeks would take Keita out until the St. Francis game