Alabama Point Guard Steele To Take Medical Redshirt

Steele was hampered by an injured left knee all last season and has undergone a pair of surgeries

Sept. 17, 2007

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Alabama point guard Ronald Steele will take a medical redshirt for the 2007-08 season, the school announced Monday.

A 2007 preseason All-American, Steele was hampered by an injured left knee all last season and underwent a pair of surgeries to repair the injury this past offseason.

But the senior apparently has not recovered enough to be ready in time for the upcoming campaign.

"I am someone who tries to approach whatever I do with my best effort, and I know my body," Steele said. "At this point in time, I don't believe I will be 100 percent by the start of practice.

"This is something I've put a lot of thought and prayer into. I want to play my best and play an entire season and know I've done everything I can on the court to help Alabama win." Steele underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on August 11 - just over four months after having small cartilage defects repaired in both knees on April 3.

"The doctors have told me my future for playing is good, but right now the timing for me to heal and be back in shape like I need to be to play on the level we play isn't on my side," Steele said. "My teammates are out on the floor conditioning every day, getting ready for the season, and I know how important that is.

"Right now I'm not able to run and do all the things that they are doing. So that's why I've decided to do this." The 6-3 Steele saw his scoring average drop from 14.3 points to 8.6 between his sophomore and junior seasons. He plans to graduate this coming December before returning for the 2008-09 campaign.

"(I will) start taking classes toward a second degree in January and then come back next fall and have a great senior season with my team," Steele said.

"Ron and I have discussed this a few times and because he feels he won't be at 100 percent this year. I completely support him and this decision," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "I have said many times I will not put him on the floor prior to being 100 percent, and it is my hope that Ron will return next season even better than before."