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 Duquesne center Shawn James has torn cartilage in his right shoulder, and his status is uncertain for the rest of the season.
James was injured while attempting a dunk with about 10 minutes remaining during a 89-82 loss at Charlotte on Sunday. He sat out the rest of the game after making two free throws. The labrum tear was found during an MRI exam on Tuesday.
James is averaging a team-leading 13.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.1 blocks, fifth-best in the nation. Duquesne (16-11, 6-8) closes its conference schedule Saturday at home against Saint Louis.
``We're hoping Shawn can play again, even if it's limited minutes,'' coach Ron Everhart said. ``He's an important player for us, but what's important is making sure Shawn is healthy.''
James had a labrum tear in the same shoulder earlier in his career - he played at Northeastern from 2004-06 - but it was not surgically repaired.
He will see a shoulder specialist Wednesday, and it is expected he will need an operation on the latest tear once the season ends. If the specialist determines he can keep playing without doing additional damage to the shoulder, James will begin rehabilitation and attempt to play the rest of the season.
James, a 6-foot-10 junior from Brooklyn, did not accompany Duquesne on its trip to Philadelphia for Wednesday night's game against Temple.
The Dukes will play at least one game in the Atlantic 10 tournament in Atlantic City next week if they qualify. They are currently tied for 10th, and the top 12 qualify.
``We've got to go to Temple and play hard, get after them defensively, hit some shots and get some confidence back,'' Everhart said. ``We know we can do it. We've just got to go and do it.''
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