With injured big-man Jeremy Tyler no longer a lock for a roster spot the chances that 6-foot-11 center Cole Aldrich a former lottery pick from Kansas making the team have spiked.

Tyler who had surgery on a stress fracture of his left foot in early September may not be available until mid-November and won’t have a chance to show his wares in preseason. Tyler signed a partially guaranteed pact after his excellent Las Vegas summer league in July and had been a virtual lock for the club. That is until the surgery.

“We can’t wait on him’’ Woodson said. “I got to groom some of these other guys. He’s a part of the roster. I don’t know his timetable to come back. Nothing’s guaranteed on our team. It’s up to my general manager ownership what direction we go. He’s on our ballclub and we need to get him back healthy to see what’s he’s got.’’
Aldrich who became former general manager Glen Grunwald’s final acquisition in September is having a good camp and has shown a propensity for staying healthy during his brief — if disappointing — NBA career after being selected by Oklahoma City with the No. 10 pick in 2010. Coaches are said to love Aldrich who won an NCAA title as a Jayhawk.

“Bigs in the league are needed — a guy like myself who’s young and hasn’t been injured’’ Aldrich said.

Not being injured being the key phrase.

“I like him’’ Woodson said. “He’s a big guy who can defend the post. He’s awkward a little offensively but he gets it done. He makes buckets around the rim.’’

Aldrich has played sparingly in three seasons — appearing in 89 games — having played with three different teams in the Thunder Sacramento and Houston. He split time last season with the Kings and Rockets.