News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Steele not set to play on Tide's Canada trip

TUSCALOOSA (AP) — Point guard Ronald Steele will not play in the exhibition games during Alabama's upcoming trip to Ottawa, Canada, Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried said Friday.

Steele is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees April 3, repairing problems that contributed to a disappointing season.

"He may practice some, but I don't think he has been fully released to go full-speed, 100 percent," Gottfried said.

The Crimson Tide will play four games in three days in Ottawa over Labor Day weekend, an international tour teams are allowed to take once every four years.

A preseason All-American last year, Steele played in 26 of 32 games and averaged 8.6 points and 4.0 assists, a considerable dropoff from his sophomore numbers of 14.3 points and 4.3 assists per game.

Two-time defending national champion Florida made a similar trip to Ottawa before last season and played two exhibition games.

Participating teams are allowed 10 practices on campus. Alabama will start Sunday and hold two practices before the three freshman signees are allowed to join them once classes begin Wednesday.

"It's a good opportunity to try some things, look at different combinations of players, maybe experiment with things on offense and defense," Gottfried said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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