Steele will redshirt in 2007-08 season
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama point guard Ronald Steele's comeback from offseason surgery on both knees will wait another year.
Ronald Steele said Monday he will take a medical redshirt for what would have been his senior season, but that doctors assured him he would be able to play again.
"I am someone who tries to approach whatever I do with my best effort, and I know my body," he said in a statement. "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."
He had arthroscopic surgeries in April and a follow-up procedure on his left knee in August. The injuries severely limited his production last season after he was named a first-team preseason AP All-American and caused him to miss the last few games.
With Ronald Steele ailing, the Tide failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years and ranked next-to-last in the Southeastern Conference in steals, turnover margin and assist-to-turnover margin.
Ronald Steele has been limited in practice and didn't play in the Tide's exhibition games in Canada over the summer.
"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," Ronald Steele said.
The two-time Alabama Mr. Basketball is expected to graduate in December and said he would begin work toward a second degree. The move might allow Ronald Steele to play a season with his brother, Andrew, a highly regarded prospect who has verbally committed to play for the Tide in 2008-09.
Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said he and Ronald Steele discussed the possibility of redshirting several times.
"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," Gottfried said.
The Tide opens the season against Troy Nov. 9.