Eso Akunne still on the mend, rest of Michigan basketball team healthy as summer begins
The Michigan basketball team is about to start its summer workouts with a clean bill of health.
Except for one member of its roster.
Michigan coach John Beilein said Tuesday that guard Eso Akunne, an Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard graduate, is still rehabbing the foot injury that cost him most of last season -- and as of now, is close to being "shut down" to allow everything to fully heal.
"Eso Akunne is still battling the foot," Beilein said. "(The trainers) are really shutting him down. He's getting better, but it's in a place in his foot that is in a slow-healing spot.
"We've had to sort of shut him down more. ... He was almost there, then he'd go out (and it'd hurt again). There's no rush now."
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Akunne injured his foot during a road game at Purdue last season, and a subsequent surgery cost him the team's final two months.
As a junior last season, Akunne served as another primary ball-handler -- along with Stu Douglass -- behind starting point guard Trey Burke. If he's fully healed by the time the season begins, he's expected to compete with incoming freshman point guard Spike Albrecht for minutes behind Burke.
The rest of the roster's full health served as good news for Michigan forward Jon Horford, who redshirted last season due to a stress fracture in his foot.
The 6-foot-10 Horford played in just nine games a year ago, but has been cleared to fully participate again.
In fact, Beilein said he's already participated in coach-instructed workouts this summer, along with fellow forwards Jordan Morgan and Blake McLimans.
In January, the NCAA passed legislation that allows coaches to work with incoming freshmen, so long as they're in summer school, and sophomores, either in summer school or in possession of 30 credit hours, as well as generally progressing juniors and seniors.
Beilein expects to begin working with Michigan's 2012 freshmen class -- Albrecht, Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary, Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert -- on Friday.
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