Alex Tchikou Injures Achilles Tendon, Out for Season
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama basketball freshman forward Alex Tchikou suffered an Achilles injury and will be out for the entirety of the 2020-2021 season, Alabama Athletics confirmed today.
Tony Tsoukalas of BamaInsider was the first to report the news on Monday.
Tchikou suffered an Achilles injury during practice on Monday and underwent surgery on Wednesday morning. The surgery was performed by Dr. Norman Waldrop of Andrews Sports Medicine in Birmingham.
“It’s really tough to see Alex go down for the season,” Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats said in a statement. “Alex is someone who arrived in early August and had quickly established himself in the locker room. He has been a great fit with our program in terms of his work ethic and character. More importantly, he is an upbeat young man with a terrific attitude about him which will be important as he begins his rehabilitation. We are fortunate to have the best medical team in the nation here at The University of Alabama and they will be alongside him every step of the way.
"We know he’s going to come back even stronger, and we look forward to getting him on the court next season.”
The incident marks the first setback for the Crimson Tide this season. Last year, forward Juwan Gary and James Rojas suffered season-ending leg injuries in practice during the same timeframe as Tchikou.
Tchikou is a native of Paris, France. He played high school basketball at Dream City Christian School in Glendale, Ariz. and was ranked the No. 36 overall player and the No. 6 power forward in the 2020 class. At 6-11 and 225 pounds, the freshman was expected to make a large impact on the upcoming season.
After constructing a solid 2020 recruiting class along with Tchikou, Oats was excited about the potential for this year's team earlier this offseason, believing the team could make a solid run.
"I think we should be competing for championships — SEC championships, tournament championship, making a run in the NCAA tournament," Oats said. "I think we’ve got the talent.
"We’ve got high expectations. We’re not going to shy away from them."
Injuries plagued the Crimson Tide last season in addition to the losses of Gary and Rojas before the season began. Junior guard John Petty, Jr. injured his elbow in the heat of SEC play late in the season as well as junior wing Herbert Jones, who injured his elbow. The injuries placed them both off of the court and limited the roster to just eight players at one point in the season.