ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After an offseason of impressive play in international events for his native Australia, senior Cameron Bairstow is back with the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team but wasn’t a full participant in drills with his fellow post players on Tuesday.
That is because the 6-foot-9 power forward is still recovering from a minor hand surgery from Aug. 19 that kept him in his home country a few days longer than anticipated.
As it turns out, Bairstow played all last season and throughout the summer in both the World University Games and in other international games with the Australian Boomers national team with discomfort in his left hand.
The surgery, which isn’t expected to cut into any playing time this season, was to relieve pressure caused by extra tissue in the hand pressing against some nerves, according to UNM Trainer Nate Burney.
Lobos head coach Craig Neal said Bairstow could be participating fully in drills if it were during the season, but after his full load of work throughout the summer there is no rush to get him back now.
Bairstow has been lifting weights, but not participating in contact drills as the Lobos are in the individual instruction portion of the offseason.