ATLANTA (AP) -Georgia Tech senior guard and team captain D'Andre Bell will have season-ending surgery to correct a spinal condition.
Coach Paul Hewitt said Wednesday that Bell, who started 22 games last season, was diagnosed with a congenital condition known as spinal stenosis.
Bell felt numbness in his extremities after he hit his head on a teammate's leg while diving for a ball during a workout on Oct. 10.
He was examined Tuesday by Dr. John Heller, a specialist at Emory Orthopedic and Spine Center, and was told he would not be able to play this season.
The stenosis, a narrowing and compression of the spinal cord, is located in the cervical portion of Bell's spine.
The 6-foot-6 Bell was recently touted by Hewitt as one of the team's leaders.
``It hurts not to be able to play,'' Bell said in a statement released by Georgia Tech.
``But I know God has a plan for me, and I need to do what is best for my future. My focus now will be on making sure I do what I need to do academically to finish up in the spring. I have to have the surgery whether I want to play again or not, so I probably will do that during winter break.''
aid no timetable has been set for Bell's surgery.
Team orthopedist Dr. John Xerogeanes said the surgery is ``necessary for his quality of life, whether he plays basketball again or not.''
Bell, a management major on track to graduate in May, averaged 6.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last season.
``We're very disappointed for D'Andre,'' Hewitt said. ``At the same time, however, he was fortunate to have caught this before something catastrophic happened on the court.''
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