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Providence's Kris Dunn expected to return before Christmas

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Providence is down to five healthy scholarship players for its Thursday night game against Rhode Island. There is still some hope that Bryce Cotton can suit up despite spraining his knee over the weekend -- but freshman Kris Dunn certainly won't be playing.

There were rumors that the highly touted point guard would be healthy enough to play this week, but Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal says it's not happening for a couple of weeks.

“He is very close to getting cleared after his shoulder surgery but won't play against the Rams,” McNamara wrote. “Look for him to suit up for a Dec. 18 game against Colgate.”

Dunn, a 6-foot-2 prospect from New London (Conn.), was the No. 1-ranked point guard in the class of 2012 by CBSSports.com. He was expected to come in and form one of the best backcourts in the country alongside freshman Ricky Ledo and veteran Vincent Council. However, Ledo was ruled ineligible for this entire season and Council is out another couple of weeks with a hamstring injury. More help is on the way in the form of Arizona transfer Sidiki Johnson, who will become eligible Dec. 18.

Dunn tore his labrum in late June and needed shoulder surgery. The timeline was originally late December or early January, but it seems he's progressing faster than expected. At the Big East Media Day in October, Cooley said there was a chance he might redshirt Dunn if his recovery was delayed.

As it stands now, though, expect the explosive playmaker to return before Christmas.

For more on injuries around the country, be sure to check our comprehensive Injury Report on Friday.

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