-- ATHENS, Ga. -- Rebecca Rowsey, a 6-foot-3 forward who started all 34 games for the Georgia Lady Bulldogs last season, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee during a preseason workout last week and will redshirt the 2005-06 season. "What's most disappointing -- and I'm not with all of our players every minute of every day -- but my sense is that Rebecca probably out-worked everybody on our basketball team this summer," coach Andy Landers said. "It always hurts you when someone gets hurt. That she had invested so much during the summer and got hurt in the second workout is just a shame. It's a cruel injustice." Rowsey already underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair the ligament. During surgery, doctors also performed a debridement to clean up meniscal cartilage in the same knee. Rowsey averaged 4.1 points and 5.0 rebounds and was one of only two players to start all 34 games for the Lady Bulldogs last season. She posted career highs in every major statistical category, including 12 points at Georgia Tech, 12 rebounds at Kentucky and playing 38 minutes in the Lady Dogs' win over Texas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Rowsey grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and equaled her career-high with four blocks against the Longhorns. Her final rejection came with 12 seconds left and the Lady Bulldogs clinging to a one-point lead. Rowsey, a pre-med major from Henderson, Tenn., also has been a standout in the classroom. She is a member of the University's Honors Program and sports better than a 3.60 cumulative grade-point average. Rowsey has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll following both of her first two seasons at Georgia. "As you would expect, Rebecca has a positive attitude," Landers said. "She wanted to get the surgery done as quickly as she could so she could go about the business of getting it rehabbed as quickly as she can. She's definitely going to redshirt this season, but she wants to get back on it and get back to work as soon as she can." Despite the loss of Rowsey, the 2005-06 Lady Bulldogs still return four starters and four more letterwinners from last year's squad, which finished 24-10 and advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament. In addition, Ebony Felder -- a three-year letterwinner from 2002-04 -- was recently granted a sixth year to complete her collegiate eligibility by the NCAA. Georgia also will welcome a group of talented newcomers that includes 6-6 Reicina Russell, a sophomore transfer who was a Freshman All-Big Ten performer for Penn State in 2003-04. Georgia opens the season against defending national champion Baylor in the State Farm Tip-off Classic in Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 13.
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