Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl will miss basketball season after knee surgery

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Cordell Pemsl's 2018-19 Iowa basketball season lasted just 13 minutes.

The junior forward will have surgery on his knee next month that will force him to miss the rest of the season, the university announced Tuesday.

“Cordell’s procedure is to remove hardware near his knee from a previous surgery when he was in high school,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said in a university news release. “It was hoped this procedure could wait until the end of the season, but is now determined the hardware removal is necessary before he will be able to return to the court.

“Cordell really worked hard preparing for his junior season, and this is an unfortunate setback. We will submit a medical hardship waiver request to the Big Ten Conference after the season.”

Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl (left) talks with guard Jordan Bohannon before the Hawkeyes' game against Alabama State on Nov. 21. Pemsl will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his knee next month.

Pemsl played 13 minutes in the season-opening win over Missouri-Kansas City and hasn't taken the court since. He was considered "day-to-day" after falling awkwardly in practice, McCaffery had said.

“I have been attempting to play through some chronic irritation caused by the hardware during preseason practice, but after consulting with our training staff, it is determined that the best course of action is to correct the problem before returning to the court. Although I am disappointed that I will be unable to help the team on the court this season, I am confident in my teammates and will do everything I can to be a good teammate from the sidelines,” Pemsl said in the release.

It's the latest injury setback for the 6-foot-8 native of Dubuque. Pemsl had two knee surgeries in high school and battled a hernia issue during his freshman year at Iowa.

He has played in 67 career games, averaging 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds.

Pemsl's absence leaves the Hawkeyes with nine scholarship players this winter. Forward Jack Nunge and guard CJ Fredrick are redshirting.

Riley Till, a walk-on forward who shares an alma mater with Pemsl (Dubuque Wahlert) would be next in line for playing time if McCaffery wants to go 10-deep. Till played 6 vital minutes in Iowa's victory over Oregon on Nov. 15, contributing three offensive rebounds, a blocked shot and an assist while five Hawkeyes sat out with foul trouble.