Monday, February 8, 2010

Badger forward Leuer near return

Although Wisconsin officials have declined to provide any updates on the progress of injured forward Jon Leuer, it appears the junior has taken a step toward returning.

Leuer, who has not been available for interviews, generally does conditioning work during practice. Recently, he was seen wearing only a black brace on his injured left wrist when he came out to watch practice at the Kohl Center.

Previously, Leuer had worn a white cast under the brace.

After watching practice for several minutes, Leuer left the court to put the cast back on. He accompanied assistant coach Gary Close up to the Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion, presumably to work on shooting.

Leuer suffered a broken bone in his left wrist on Jan. 9 in UW's 73-66 victory over Purdue.

He underwent successful surgery on Jan. 12 and barring any setbacks could return near the end of the regular season but before the Big Ten tournament, set for March 11-14 in Indianapolis.

(photo courtesy Bleacher Report)

(story courtesy JSOnline)

My Take

The Badgers haven't lost a step since Leuer's injury, and his return would only make him better. In his absence, junior Keaton Nankivil has stepped his game up, averaging 12.7 points and 6 rebounds per game. His career high of 25 points came in a loss at Purdue. Nankivil hit 7 of his 8 3-point attempts in the game but the Badgers fell short in the end.

Leuer, who is second on the team in points per game and first in rebounds per game, would be a huge addition to the team come conference tournament time. It wouldn't be smart to rush his return, however, as the Badgers face a relatively easy schedule to end the regular season.

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