Michigan will face its toughest test of the season on Thursday, as the Wolverines prepare to host No. 1 Purdue. With U-M having plenty of question marks about the team heading into the game, none might be bigger than the status of freshman wing Jett Howard for the contest.
After departing Sunday’s game in the win over Minnesota with an ankle injury, Howard’s status has been kept under wraps all week.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, head coach Juwan Howard told reporters that Howard is working through the rehab process and won’t be forced into action if he’s not in playing shape.
Even if the younger Howard desperately wants to be out on the floor.
“Jett is going through the rehab treatment,” Howard said. “In Jett’s mind, he’s saying he’s going to play but it’s all about health, and health is more important than any game. We want to have a healthy Jett out there instead of a guy who’s hobbling. He just wants to be there to help his team because that’s how he’s wired mentally. He’s also a competitor and he wants to win, and he feels that when he’s not playing, he’s not helping the team.
“So the key is just continuing to go through the rehab treatment and just try to help him get healthy. When I see that he’s ready to go, health-wise, that’s when he’s going to be ready to play. I’m not saying that’s going to be the next game, I don’t know when it’s going to be.”
The Boilermakers are 19-1 and sit on top of the Big Ten Conference. A win over the No. 1 team in the nation would give the Wolverines some much-needed confidence in a season where it has been needed for the program.
U-M sits third in the conference stands with a 5-3 record and are needing big wins with an 11-8 record.
Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on FS1.
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