Spotlight On A.J. Price

What a wild ride. Price missed two seasons before pulling on a UConn jersey. He sat out 2004-05 for life-threatening medical reasons. He sat out 2005-06 while suspended for his role in attempting to sell stolen laptop computers. He debuted in 2006-07 and was clearly rusty, averaging 9.4 points and making just 27.3 percent of his three-pointers as the Huskies struggled to 17-14 and missed the postseason. In 2007-08, Price was clearly a different player.

He regained the quickness, stamina and shooting touch he had lost during his two-year hiatus. He averaged 14.5 points, 16.1 in Big East play, and spearheaded a 10-game winning streak as one of the more complete guards in the Big East. But Price tore his left ACL midway through the first half of the Huskies' upset loss to San Diego in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and months of rehabilitation would follow.

Price was not himself initially as a senior in 2008-09 – he was scoreless in the opener against Western Carolina and sat out UConn's second game against Hartford while injured. Soon, however, Price turned it on. His career-high 36 points at Marquette in February highlighted Jim Calhoun's 800th career victory, and Price was arguably the most valuable player on a team that reached the Final Four. Price is 25th on the Huskies' all-time scoring list with 1,284 points in three seasons.

NBA highlights: Price was selected in the second round, 52nd overall, by the Pacers in the 2009 NBA draft. He earned a spot on the roster and was relegated to the bench for much of the first half of his rookie season as Earl Watson and T.J. Ford played ahead of him at point guard. Price gained more playing time as the season went on, however, and he ended up averaging 7.3 points, 1.9 assists and 15.4 minutes in 56 games. He scored a career-high 23 points Jan. 9 against Oklahoma City.

Life Away From UConn: Price grew up in Amityville, N.Y., the son of mother Inga and father Tony, who played for the Penn team that reached the 1979 Final Four. Called perhaps the "steal of the [2009] draft" by Pacers coach Jim O'Brien, Price's play in the second half of the season suggested that next season could be one of opportunity. The Pacers main question mark is at point guard and the team is looking to deal Ford.

As much as Indiana appears to be a good fit for Price, he again has an obstacle to overcome. Price recently injured his left knee again, this time during a charity game in New York. He told the Indianapolis Star, "I was making a move to the basket and it happened. It's something with my kneecap. I'm going to be out a few months."

Reports indicate that Price, who has already had surgery, could miss 4-6 months. He is questionable for the start of training camp and even the start of the regular season. His contract is not guaranteed and he'll be inactive again. This is distressing news to a player who appeared ready to make his mark. Now he'll have to fight back again.