The first seven games are gone, but all may not be lost for injured Tennessee senior forward Jeronne Maymon, according his father, Tim Maymon.
"He's doing well," Tim Maymon told the News Sentinel on Wednesday. "It's not his knee. His knee is fine. He's trying to get back in shape. He hasn't been running or lifting weights or anything, but he's working with the strength trainer (Nicodemus Christopher) just to get back in shape, get his game back and get his wind back."
Veiled by privacy laws, little has been revealed about Jeronne Maymon's surgically repaired right knee.
After undergoing arthroscopic surgery to address a torn meniscus on March 20 at UT Medical Center, Maymon played in two games during the Vols' four-game tour of Italy in August. Then when the season arrived, he was out of service.
Jeronne Maymon appeared on crutches when the season began in November. Weeks later he was off crutches, but noticeably struggling to walk on his own. At present, he's been seen riding a stationary bike and gingerly walking on the treadmill.
As Jeronne Maymon has languished on the sidelines, speculation has swirled around Thompson-Boling Arena, the most prevalent being that an infection in the knee was the source of the setback.
Neither Tennessee coaches nor its medical staff have offered any specifics.
Asked specifically about an infection, Tim Maymon responded, "I can't confirm or deny what it was, but I can tell you this: His knee is healthy.
"It has nothing to do with him not being able play on it. It has nothing to do with him not being able to walk. Jeronne is walking without crutches. He's working out and he's rehabbing.
"Jeronne just had an issue that he needed to look into to make sure that he would never have a problem again. I can tell you this, Jeronne is 100 percent healthy."
Recent practices speak to the contrary. Jeronne Maymon has yet to run, let alone step on the floor for any live action. No UT coaches or players have given any indication of an imminent return.
The Vols, who play Wichita State tonight (TV: MyVLT, 7 p.m.), are off to a 4-3 start without Maymon, a preseason second team All-SEC pick.
Most glaringly, the UT offense has floundered.
Looking at the last seven regular-season games from 2011-12, the Vols averaged 70.0 points per game and shot 47.2 percent from the field with Maymon. Through seven games without him in 2012-13, they're averaging 61.4 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting.
Asked for an update on Jeronne Maymon's injury status and a timetable for his return on Tuesday, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said neither is available. Martin declined to comment on Wednesday.
"This kid can take pain, but I think what Cuonzo and the staff is trying to do is make sure that Jeronne doesn't say 'I'm ready' and then go out to help the team because they're losing and end up hurting himself more," Tim Maymon said. "I know Cuonzo and everybody is looking out for him and I appreciate that."
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn