N.C. State reserve forward might redshirt after surgery

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N.C. State looks like they could be without reserve forward Lennard Freeman for the 2016-17 season as he might redshirt after surgery on his leg.

According to a report from Brett Friedlander of the Wilmington Star News, Freeman had a 16-inch steel rod removed from his lower right leg and replaced with a thicker steel rod. Freeman underwent surgery last summer that placed the original rod in his leg and this offseason he wants to stabilize it and get in shape for a full season. That means Freeman will likely redshirt this season.

During last season, Freeman played through a stress reaction to the injured leg, so you can understand why he would want to make sure he had long enough to recover.

“He just needs time,” Gottfried said to Friedlander. “He needs time to fully heal, fully get himself ready and go through an offseason where he can actually work out every day and go through all of our skill development drills.”

The 6-foot-8 Freeman averaged 3.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while playing a little over 19 minutes per game. Now that N.C. State has Abdul-Malik Abu and BeeJay Anya returning next season, they have a little more stability and don’t need to rely on Freeman as much. Turkish freshman center Omer Yurtseven is also viewed as a potential first-round pick in next year’s draft, so he gives N.C. State additional interior depth.