Connecticut RB D.J. Shoemate's future in doubt after shoulder surgery

<img style=Connecticut" data-canon="Connecticut Huskies" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> running back D.J. Shoemate underwent shoulder surgery on Tuesday, leaving the senior transfer from USC with a cloudy future heading into his final year of eligibility.

Huskies head coach Paul Pasqualoni called the procedure just "a little scope," but The Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner said the injury is a "bothersome issue that could threaten his career."

Shoemate must get cleared by doctors before the first preseason practice in early August if he plans to play in 2012. Because the senior already used a medical redshirt in 2011 for nagging shoulder injuries, he would be unable to return if he is forced to sit out the season.

"If his shoulder is not right and if there's going to be chronic problems, it certainly is [over]," Pasqualoni said over the weekend. "So we've got to see what this shoulder is. We're hopeful that he's going to be OK, but he's going to have a decision to make so we'll see how that goes."

Shoemate's absence last season opened the door for Lyle McCombs, who earned Freshman All-American honors after rushing for 1,151 yards and seven touchdowns for the Huskies. Losing that depth again is risky for a young running back like McCombs, who led the Big East with 275 rushing attempts on the season.

For on Connecticut, including other running backs ready to jump into the rotation, check out the Huskies' Spring Practice Primer.

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CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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