April 8, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's senior swingman D.J. Kennedy had his right knee surgically repaired on Wednesday, April 6, and began physical therapy on Friday, April 8, according to the St. John's Sports Medicine staff. Kennedy suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee during the Red Storm's BIG EAST Quarterfinal loss to Syracuse on March 10, and was out of action for STJ's NCAA Second Round matchup with Gonzaga.
"I am happy that I was able to have a successful surgery, and to be able to finally start therapy to work toward getting back on the court," said Kennedy, a traditionally fast healer whose projected recovery time is six to eight months. "I am looking forward to the hard work I'm going to have to put in to come back stronger and better than before."
Kennedy drew contact with a Syracuse player and injured the knee five minutes and 35 seconds into St. John's 79-73 setback to the Orange in the BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden. An examination by BIG EAST and MSG medical personnel, and the St. John's medical staff led by 30-year Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine Ron Linfonte, A.T.C., called for x-rays and a MRI. He was examined and officially diagnosed later by team physician and orthopedist Answorth Allen, M.D., at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Allen performed the surgery on Wednesday.
Kennedy paced the Red Storm in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, free throw percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and minutes played in 2009-10, and was listed second among St. John's leaders in blocked shots. Kennedy -- who was a six-time BIG EAST Honor Roll member as a junior and is a two-time first team All-Met selection from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers' Association (2008-09, 2009-10) -- finished his career 12th on STJ's all-time scoring list with 1,504 career points, 11th on the all-time rebounding list with 781 boards, tied for fifth among sharpshooters with 122 3-point field goals and sixth on the all-time steals list with 183 thefts. Those totals make him one of only three players in St. John's history to total 1,450 points, 750 rebounds and 150 steals, joining legends Malik Sealy (2,402 points, 880 rebounds, 238 steals) and George Johnson (1,763 points, 1,240 rebounds, 153 steals).
The Red Storm's third-leading scorer (10.4 points per game) and leading rebounder (5.6 rebounds per game) in 2010-11, Kennedy helped drive the 2010-11 Red Storm back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the program's now-vacated appearance in 2002. His senior year included a 21-12 overall record, marking St. John's most wins since the 2002-03 season, with six Top 25 victories and four over Top 10 opponents. Led by USBWA District II Coach of the Year Steve Lavin, St. John's transformed itself from a team that finished in 13th place in the BIG EAST conference in 2009-10 at 6-12 to a squad that tied for third in 2010-11 at 12-6 - only twice before has a jump of such magnitude occurred in BIG EAST conference history. The Red Storm finished its season ranked 18th in the Associated Press Top 25, marking the first time it qualified for the postseason as a ranked team since 2000-01.