Jan. 14, 2008
BERKELEY - California sophomore forward Theo Robertson, who underwent hip surgery in the offseason and has yet to play in a game this year, will apply for a medical redshirt, head coach Ben Braun announced Monday.
"Theo is obviously a valuable player to our team," Braun said. "In short, he was, and probably is, our best defender. He's our most-experienced player. He's probably our most versatile player. So you add those three things up, and he's a heck of a player."
A 6-6, 220-pound wing, Robertson started 41 of 63 games during his first two years in the program, including all 33 contests last season. After averaging 6.0 ppg as a freshman in 2005-06, he contributed 8.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg and a team-high 27 steals in 2006-07. Robertson, whose career three-point rate of 38.8 percent ranks sixth all-time at the school, was named Cal's Best Defensive Player at the end of the season.
"He's been missed and he's going to be missed, but what I really admire about Theo and the team admires about him, is that throughout his rehab, he's worked very hard and the decision just came down to a simple fact that he's still got a ways to go," Braun said. "To be able to play on Thursday and Saturday is going to be a difficult challenge, and in the end, maybe to get nine games back, or maybe even seven or eight games back where he can really go full tilt, that's tough. I support his decision."
Robertson underwent hip surgery in April and was cleared for full-court practice in late December. However, he was unable to practice on back-to-back days, which contributed to today's announcement.
"The final decision really comes down to Theo," Braun added. "It's been a difficult injury. I'd rather be on the cautious side. This is his career, too. We wanted to give (his return this season) every opportunity we could. We're going to miss Theo, but we all wanted to be in a supportive position, and Theo knows he has the support of his teammates, his coaches and his family. I think we're all in agreement that we'd all rather have Theo come back at 100 percent physically, emotionally and everything else."