Surgery not expected for Michigan's Jon Horford, John Beilein remains optimistic about the injury
ANN ARBOR -- Michigan basketball coach John Beilein has not heard any mention of a possible surgery for injured sophomore forward Jon Horford, and remains optimistic about his chances of returning to the court again this season.
Beilein said Horford suffered a dislocated kneecap during No. 2 Michigan's 81-66 win over West Virginia on Saturday, and is expected to be week-to-week moving forward.
"I have not heard (possible surgery) mentioned," Beilein said Tuesday. "He's walking around, it was the same (left) knee (he injured) in the preseason.
"I think the lack of news is good news, we're (still) waiting for some things, but we're hopeful and very optimistic that he can return healthy as a horse."
Beilein again said Tuesday that redshirt freshman Max Bielfeldt will take Horford's spot in Michigan's rotation as the team's third big man, and added that Bielfeldt has not been limited in practice recently due to a previously sprained ankle.
The Wolverines are hopeful it can overcome Horford's injury in the immediate, but they still feel rough for him, given all the injury rehab he's had to go through over the past year.
"It's hard to watch for him, especially," Michigan junior forward Jordan Morgan said. "We all want him to have success. But we kind of have to keep our focus and try to move on.
"We've got to encourage him to stay engaged with this team."
Horford missed most of last season with a broken bone in his foot, and ended up using a medical redshirt because of it.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound big man also dealt with a knee injury prior to the start of the season -- but seemed to be playing the best basketball of his short career in an energetic role of the bench.
Horford's been through this before, though, and teammates say he's maintaining an upbeat attitude in spite of his latest setback.
"He's a really positive person, so he doesn't really get down too much," Morgan said. "You just try to give him words of encouragement, I've been there (with an injury) a few times. You just give him words of encouragement and encourage him to stay focused and stay engaged.
"Because we need him. As we move along with the season, we're going to need him more and more."
No. 2 Michigan returns to Crisler Center on Thursday to host Eastern Michigan (8:30 p.m., Big Ten Network).
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