St. John's shot-blocker Chris Obekpa (ankle) out two weeks

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

As St. John's enters a key stretch in its quest for an NCAA tournament bid, the Red Storm will be without one of the best shot-blockers in the country.

Chris Obekpa will miss the next 10-14 days after suffering an ankle injury during practice on Monday. An MRI on Tuesday showed a sprain and bone bruise in Obekpa's right ankle.

“Chris is a central part of what we do on both ends of the court. Our team will have to step up collectively in his absence,” head coach Steve Lavin said. “Chris is not only an outstanding defender with shot blocking prowess but his recent offensive contributions have been a significant part of our team's success. One of our team's strengths is depth so we are confident in our front line players' ability to see us through this challenging stretch.”

Obekpa is out for Tuesday's games against Butler, Saturday's road trip to Villanova, and possibly next Tuesday's potential bubble battle with Xavier.

The 6-foot-9 sophomore center is averaging 4.2 points and 4.9 rebounds this season, along with 3.2 blocks. He is coming on strong at the right time, though, scoring in double-figures in three of his last four games.

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