Arizona Wildcats freshman Daniel Batcho had surgery on his right knee in late October and is out indefinitely, the school announced Thursday.
Batcho will be re-evaluated in late January, which means he likely won’t debut until February at the earliest.
The Frenchman has had knee problems before. Batcho missed the 2018-19 season with a fractured kneecap, but he said Thursday that this injury is cartilage-related and he’s unsure if he will play this season.
The 6-foot-11 forward/center was expected to boost the Wildcats’ frontcourt this season, possibly as a starter or as the first or second big off the bench.
Batcho (pronounced “Bah-cho”) averaged 14.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game with CFBB Paris in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament last year, while shooting 70 percent from the field and earning MVP honors.
Before fellow UA freshman Azuolas Tubelis signed with Arizona, Batcho was considered the top European prospect to go the college route.
Even without Batcho, Arizona has solid depth in the frontcourt with Tubelis, Jordan Brown, Christian Koloko and Ira Lee, but they lose a physical presence inside.
“I think he could play both positions for us,” Miller said in May. “He’s aggressive. He’s a very good defensive rebounder, adept at FIBA basketball where pick-and-roll and playing up and down, being able to defend pick-and-rolls, those are things that he’s been doing for a number of years. Hungry guy, a guy that loves the game. Really excited to have him.”