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Marquette guard Greg Elliott out eight to 12 weeks after thumb surgery

Marquette v VCU

LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 20: Greg Elliott #5 of the Marquette Golden Eagles Rams dribbles Malik Crowfield #13 of the VCU Rams during the first half of their game at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 20, 2017 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

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Marquette will be without reserve guard Greg Elliott for the start of the season after he underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, the school announced on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-3 Elliott, a sophomore, was injured during practice on Oct. 5. He also suffered an injury to the same thumb in 2017. Elliott is expected to miss the next 8-to-12 weeks recovering from the surgery.

“We are disappointed for Greg, especially knowing how hard he worked in the offseason to prepare for his sophomore year,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said in the release. “We are confident he will apply his tremendous work ethic to his rehabilitation process and get back on the court soon.”

Elliott’s loss isn’t significant for Marquette as veterans Markus Howard and Fordham graduate transfer guard Joseph Chartouny should provide plenty of firepower and experience in the Golden Eagle backcourt. But Elliott was a key piece off the bench last season as his depth in the backcourt will surely be missed early in the season.

As a freshman last season, Elliott averaged 18.3 minutes per game while putting up 4.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. A do-it-all guard who contributes in a number of unique ways, Elliott shot 50 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range.

If Elliott recovers slowly, the three-month mark would put his return around mid-January, as the Big East portion of Marquette’s schedule will just be getting going. One of the subplots to watch with Marquette during non-conference play will be to see if any guards step up and earn the minutes that Elliott used to play. If a new piece emerges, then Marquette’s guard depth could be better than initially anticipated.