Only two games old, George Mason University's basketball season is seriously threatened with injuries, jeopardizing the long step forward school officials had counted on this year.

Monday night, star center and leading scorer and rebounder Andre Gaddy broke a bone in his hand during a fight, sidelining him for up to seven weeks, Coach Joe Harrington said.

That injury, plus a preseason broken leg suffered by forward Terry Henderson, a torn foot ligament suffered by backup center Ken Wilson and a sprained neck suffered by sixth man Chris Cutsforth leaves the Patriots with three freshman among their top seven players and a fourth who didn't start last year.

Gaddy's broken bone in his right hand occurred in a fight during the Patriots' 90-79 victory over Baltimore Loyola Monday.

Eight minutes into the second half, Gaddy and Loyola's Stash Wojcik exchanged punches after a shoving match broke out under the George Mason basket. Both were ejected from the game.

According to Rich Barnes, George Mason assistant, Gaddy broke a bone at the base of his thumb after hitting Wojcik with a right-handed punch. "He didn't have his thumb curled in," Barnes said.

A 6-foot-10 senior who averaged 18.5 points per game last year, Gaddy conceivably could be redshirted, postponing his last year of college eligibility until next year.