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Forward Black now out indefinitely for Illinois

Leron Black, Justin Browning

Illinois forward Leron Black (12) looks to pass while being guarded by Western Carolina forward Justin Browning (23) during an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Robin Scholz)

AP

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Illinois forward Leron Black is now out indefinitely with a meniscus tear he suffered in early October.

Team spokesman Derrick Burson confirmed Black’s status Thursday.

Black had surgery on his right knee on Oct. 9 and has played limited minutes in just a handful of games since his return. He did not play in Illinois’ two most recent games.

The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Black was expected to start this season and offer inside scoring, rebounding and defense to a team that is short on all three.

Black is one of three would-be starters out long-term for Illinois (6-5). Point guard Tracy Abrams is out for the season, and coach John Groce has said he isn’t sure if center Mike Thorne Jr. will return.