Dayton Flyers forward Josh Cunningham underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle and will miss approximately three months, UD announced Saturday before a 2 p.m. game against Saint Mary’s at UD Arena.
Cunningham, a redshirt sophomore from Chicago, was injured Tuesday after a dunk attempt with three seconds remaining in a 77-72 victory against Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Dayton coach Archie Miller said Thursday Cunningham didn’t suffer a knee injury that would require surgery but said the ankle/lower leg needed another examination.
Miller has little hope that Cunningham will be able to play this season.
“Josh is done,” Miller said after a 61-57 loss. “If he’s not done for the season, he’ll make a miraculous run in February, and maybe he’s good. We don’t plan on having Josh. If we have a plan to have Josh back, it’s not going to be until the middle of February before he can start doing much from what I understand. I don’t anticipate Josh being able to make a six-game run at the end of the season. Crazier things have happened. Rehabilitation, he heals faster, maybe. My inclination for our staff and our team, we’re moving forward with Josh not having it. That’s where you’ve got to start and stop every conversation. There’s no saving grace. We are who we are. There’s no excuses. We’ve got to get better.”
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Miller doesn’t know if Cunningham would be eligible for a redshirt season. He would have to apply to the NCAA after the season. Cunningham already sat out one season as a transfer. Sometimes athletes are granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, however.
Cunningham averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in Dayton’s first two games against Austin Peay and Alabama.