Jon Horford's status still up in the air, Eso Akunne injury may create room for Carlton Brundidge
The Michigan basketball team will need all the beef it can get Sunday when it travels to Ohio State.
But it remains unclear whether the Wolverines will indeed get an extra boost in their efforts against the Buckeyes and big man Jared Sullinger.
Michigan coach John Beilein said he planned on running sophomore forward Jon Horford through a full practice Friday, but had no idea whether he’d be able to play in Columbus (1 p.m., CBS).
“Unless (men’s basketball trainer) John DoRosario stops me, we’re trying to go full-go (with Horford at practice) today,” Beilein said. “We may give him a breather here and there, but he’s (rusty).
“We’ve all found out that playing in practice and being on a bicycle or running in a water tank is very different.”
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Horford was scheduled to travel with Michigan to Purdue earlier this week, but chose to remain in Ann Arbor to work on his conditioning.
Beilein says that if his 6-foot-10, 250-pound sophomore isn’t 100 percent, he won’t play him. And if he doesn’t play him, Horford will likely receive a medical redshirt this season.
“He’s got to feel comfortable and he’s got to play at a really high level in practice for us to say ‘let’s burn this medical redshirt,’ “ Beilein said. “We could burn it at any time, or, we could (use it).
“If he’s not productive in practice because of conditioning or because of rustiness, we shouldn’t (burn) it.”
In other injury news, junior guard Eso Akunne was slated to have surgery on an injured left foot Friday. A procedure that will cost him 6 to 8 weeks.
Beilein said Akunne’s absence will create more space in the rotation behind freshman point guard Trey Burke, and that either junior Matt Vogrich or freshman Carlton Brundidge could see more minutes as a result.
“Eso had been really playing well in practice, that’s why this was so disappointing,” Beilein said. “I put him in during the first half (against Purdue), but now it’s either Matt Vogrich or Carlton.
“Unfortunately we’ve lost a perimeter guard for most of the season, if not all of it. As a result, those two may have more opportunities now.”
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