CARBONDALE — SIU men's basketball coach Bryan Mullins announced Thursday senior guard Aaron Cook will miss between 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his right hand. He will have surgery, and could return between Dec. 19 and Jan. 2, 2020.
If Cook returns in four weeks, he could be ready for SIU's game against Southeast Missouri State four days before Christmas. If he's out the full six weeks, he could return for the Salukis' third Missouri Valley Conference game against Valparaiso on Jan. 7. Cook, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound point guard, has scored in double figures in every game this season for SIU and leads the team in scoring (15 points per game), assists (20) and steals (19). He is shooting 55.2% from the field and 27.3% from the 3-point line (3 of 11). Cook has started 69 of 102 games and is 17th in school history in assists (255). His 138 career steals are tied with Desmar Jackson for 10th in SIU history.
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Cook broke his hand in Tuesday night's loss to Murray State, when he scored 16 points in 33 minutes. SIU (2-4) dropped its fourth straight game at the CFSB Center in Murray, Kentucky. The Salukis are off until Tuesday night, when they take on North Carolina Central (1-4). Cook's injury comes at a bad time for SIU, as it just got redshirt freshman forward Sekou Dembele back and is close to getting redshirt freshman guard Karrington Davis back. Senior Eric McGill and freshman Lance Jones are Cook's likely replacements during his absence.
-- Todd Hefferman