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Health issues prompt freshman Zach Peters to leave Jayhawks

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Freshman forward Zach Peters has left the Kansas basketball program after a shoulder injury and series of concussions have threatened to end his career.

Peters announced his decision in a statement shortly after the 10th-ranked Jayhawks defeated San Jose State 70-57 on Monday night. Peters has sustained four concussions since his senior year of high school, including two since his arrival at Kansas.

"I hate that this is happening," Peters said. "With all the injuries, including the concussions, that I've dealt with lately, I feel like in order for me to move on and be able to get over all this, I need to go home and basically heal."

Kansas coach Bill Self said that Peters went home to Plano, Texas, during the Thanksgiving break and spoke with his family before meeting with him Monday. That's when Peters informed Self that he was leaving the program to deal with his health issues.

Peters has had a rotator cuff injury in addition to his concussions.

"We have had numerous contacts with his family about this and we are all in total agreement that before Zach could move forward with any type of athletic endeavors, he needs to be in a situation where he can address his health issues," Self said.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward was a highly sought recruit from Prestonwood Christian Academy, where was a four-time All-State selection in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. He also played wide receiver on the football team.

Peters was expected to be a contributor off the bench this season. He averaged 5.0 points and 6.3 rebounds on a four-game trip to Switzerland and France over the summer.

"This is unfortunate for Zach and our team," Self said. "I personally thought that Zach had a chance to be a very good player at the University of Kansas. It's a shame that these health issues have kept him from doing so."

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