If Utah center David Foster's broken right foot keeps him out for the entire season, the California native, who first signed with the Utes in 2006, could redshirt and come back for yet another season.
Question is, would he be interested?
Coach Larry Krystkowiak said Tuesday that Foster, who played six minutes in the exhibition opener to Adams State on Nov. 4 before limping off the court, has not seemed interested in redshirting. The 7-foot-3 center's father, however, said the decision would be more complicated.
"I think at the start of this ordeal that was the feeling," Lee Foster said, "that he wanted to come back. But I think he's kind of decided to wait and see how the healing process goes."
Instead of the defensive presence the Utes expected Foster to be, he has been a staple of the sideline at practices, on a chair or a special cart. Officially, he is still out indefinitely. At practice Tuesday, his left foot was in a brown dress sock, his right entombed in a faded red cast.
Lee Foster said his son, who led the Mountain West Conference in blocked shots last season, had never before suffered a broken bone. But Krystkowiak said Foster's long-term health could be a concern and a factor in any decisions to redshirt.
"For whatever reason, [he] hasn't had the best luck with health," Krystkowiak said. "So to sit out, redshirt and come back again next year, nothing's to say we're not going to be in the same scenario."
Instead, Krystkowiak said, the Utes would like to see Foster back with about four-to-six weeks left in the Pac-12 Conference schedule, allowing him to "finish his senior year in a productive fashion."
Lee Foster acknowledged that he is advocating for David Foster, who is expecting a child in May with his wife Britta, to sit out this season and return next year.
"We were all hyped for a huge year for him," Lee Foster said. "He had a great offseason, and it's been pretty discouraging."
Hines a starter
Two weeks into the season, Chris Hines has found his way back into the starting lineup. Hines came off the bench Saturday against Massachusetts, when he replaced Anthony Odunsi in the starting five.
He scored nine points in the loss to the Minutemen and 11 a night later against UNC-Asheville.
Krystkowiak said Hines will remain a starter.
"We need to be able to score," Krystkowiak said. "We're struggling to score and he gives us a little punch."
Bahamas trip an O-fer
The Utes fell to 1-5 over the weekend with lopsided losses to Harvard, UMass and Asheville. While the trip was discouraging, junior center Jason Washburn said the Utes have improved.
"Losing's never fun," Washburn said. "We played hard and we tried. I think we improved each game and at times we looked really, really good. But, especially in the last two games, UMass and Asheville, I think we gave them a little bit and they took it."