Virginia freshman Francesco Badocchi takes medical leave of absence

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Francesco Badocchi has been something of a mystery for Virginia as the Italian big man wasn’t a highly sought-after recruit after an under-the-radar high school career. The mystery will not be revealed on the court immediately this season.

The 6-foot-7 freshman will take a leave of absence from the Virginia program due to medical reasons, the school announced Thursday.

Badocchi, a 6-foot-7 forward from Milan, Italy, redshirted last season for the Cavaliers and looked to be something of a candidate for a big role on a team looking to bounce back from last season’s loss to 16th-seeded UMBC.

The hope was the Badocchi, who averaged 13.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocks as a senior while attending high school in the Kansas City area, could help provide some frontcourt shooting off the bench. He will remain in school while away from the team, Virginia said in its release announcing the leave.

The Cavaliers open the season Tuesday at home against Towson.