BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -California forward Theo Robertson decided to redshirt his junior season after his surgically repaired hip took longer to heal than expected, giving him two more years of eligibility.
``I really don't think I made the decision. It was up to my body,'' Robertson said Monday. ``It's been a long haul. I'm a competitor. I want to play.''
The 6-foot-6 Robertson underwent an operation on his hip last April. He had hoped to return to action for Cal (11-4, 2-2 Pac-10) in December or at least for the start of the Pac-10 season earlier this month, but is still experiencing soreness and limited in what he can do in practice and for how long.
Both Robertson, his family and Cal coach Ben Braun realize he will be more effective at full strength, rather than rushing back and only being able to play one game a week. Doctors have told him it takes about a year for the body to fully heal from such a procedure, and he spends long sessions in the training room daily.
During the summer, he was rehabilitating the hip several times a day.
Robertson and Braun told the team during a film session Monday.
``He's our most experienced player and probably our most versatile player. He's been missed and he's going to be missed,'' Braun said. ``The decision came down to he still has a ways to go. I support his decision. He gets his whole junior year back. We all felt this was it. I knew nothing was really going to change.''
Robertson started all 33 games for the Golden Bears last season as a sophomore, averaging 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds while playing the power forward spot due to his teammates' injuries.
He has been practicing about twice a week as his body allows and is trying to regain his conditioning, mobility, explosiveness and strength.
``Unfortunately it's take so long,'' Robertson said. ``My health is my No. 1 priority.''

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