USC's Fuller may undergo shoulder surgery next week

USC's Fuller may undergo shoulder surgery next week

Published Jan. 18, 2012 4:16 p.m. ET

USC starting junior forward Aaron Fuller, the team's leading rebounder (5.9 rebounds a game) and second-leading scorer (10.6 points), could undergo season-ending shoulder surgery as early as next week, he confirmed via text message Wednesday.

Fuller, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound transfer from Iowa who was one of USC's few players with Division I experience coming into the season, suffered a labral tear in his left (shooting) shoulder in October, and in December he suffered one in his right shoulder.

He has been playing in games with those injuries but hasn't practiced much, if at all, between them.

By playing, though, Fuller appears to have aggravated the tears to the point where he can no longer stave off surgery until after the season.

On Tuesday, Coach Kevin O'Neill said it was uncertain if Fuller would play for the Trojans on Thursday at Oregon.

"We don't know if Aaron Fuller is going to be playing now," O'Neill said. "We'll know later this week."

USC is 5-13 overall and 0-5 in Pac-12 Conference play as it heads to Eugene, Ore., to face the Ducks, (13-5, 4-2).

The Trojans have lost six in a row, their longest such streak since losing seven in a row during the 2002-03 season.

Fuller said via text message that he is traveling to Oregon, but he's not expected to play.

Without him, USC loses its main inside scoring threat and its best offensive rebounder. The Trojans are also down to one reliable scoring option: sophomore guard Maurice Jones, who is averaging a team-high 14.2 points per game.

Others sidelined are senior guard Jio Fontan (knee injury in August), USC's leading returning scorer (10.5 points) from last season, and forwards Curtis Washington and Evan Smith, both with shoulder injuries that appear to be season-ending.

--Baxter Holmes