Kansas freshman guard Devonte’ Graham, sidelined since Dec. 10 because of a sprained toe, is inching closer to returning to game action, Kansas coach Bill Self said on Friday morning.
Graham was set to practice on Friday morning, and depending on how his toe responded, Self said it was possible — though not likely — that Graham could see spot minutes against Texas Tech on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I wouldn’t bank on it,” Self said. “I would still say, right now, he’s probably doubtful, but that could become questionable. But I don’t think it’s probable.”
After defeating Baylor on Wednesday night in their Big 12 opener, the Jayhawks took Thursday off. So Friday was one of Graham’s first opportunities to prove to Self and Kansas’ trainers that he could go full speed. If Graham is unable to play on Saturday, though, it does appear likely that he’ll return next week. After facing Texas Tech, the Jayhawks will play host to Oklahoma State on Tuesday night.
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Graham, a native of Raleigh, N.C., was averaging 5.9 points in 14.9 minutes per game before missing the last seven games.
Alexander has back issue
Self also revealed Friday that freshman forward Cliff Alexander was affected by a back issue during Wednesday’s victory at Baylor.
Alexander finished with four points and one rebound in 20 minutes.
“He’s a tough kid and his back locked up on him Tuesday,” Self said. “He couldn’t practice; he tried to get out there and go, and then it was locked up the whole day.
“So we were lucky that we got the minutes we go out of him. He wasn’t effective at all in the game, in large part because of his back. (But) just his presence and his size definitely helped us win the game.”
Self said Alexander has dealt with back issues before and it generally takes three to four days before the issue goes away.