The Arizona Wildcats announced on Tuesday afternoon that starting center Kaleb Tarczewski will be out four to six weeks due to a stress reaction and a strained muscle in his left foot.
Tarczewski, who was dealing with an ankle injury during the offseason, suffered the injury last Thursday in the Wildcats' overtime win against Santa Clara. The timetable the program gave for his return could mean we see him back in action when Pac-12 starts on January 3rd against ASU, or perhaps the week after that when the team heads to Southern California.
In the meantime, it's certainly a big loss for the Wildcats, literally and figuratively. Tarczewski is the backbone for an Arizona defense that has struggled to protect the paint without him, and Ryan Anderson is already dealing with ailments of his own. The Wildcats' front court is simply in shambles right now and with the team set to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs' massive front court on Saturday, that road game just got infinitely tougher.
Dusan Ristic and Chance Comanche are the ones that are going to have to step up in Tarczewski's absence. Ristic should be more than capable of providing solid minutes but has had his own struggles this year, while Comanche hasn't played much this season and his ability is still an unknown. For that reason, it's very possible that we see Ryan Anderson at center alongside Mark Tollefsen for extended minutes. Sean Miller even went with a five-guard lineup last game, and we may see that again, too.