KU freshman Jalen Wilson recovering nicely from broken ankle
It’s been nearly five weeks since Kansas freshman Jalen Wilson broke his left ankle during his first official appearance in a game at Allen Fieldhouse.
But there already is talk about Wilson returning to practice in the next few weeks.
The original time table for a full recovery of three months remains most likely, but after wearing a boot and using a walking scooter to stay off the injured ankle during the past month, Wilson may soon be back on his feet.
“Jalen’s doing fine,” Self said Thursday. “He’s still in his boot, but he’s on the bike, he’s doing different things and I think the boot should be coming off here relatively soon. … I really think we’ll have him on the court in some capacity the first week or two of January. So he’s doing well.”
“In some capacity” are the key words in that statement, and it remains unknown whether Wilson could recover enough to return to action in time to impact this season.
Wilson injured the ankle during his first 27 seconds on the floor in KU’s home-opening victory against UNC Greensboro.
After checking in midway through the first half and running down to the offensive end of the floor, Wilson took himself out of the play and walked toward midcourt after hearing a “pop” while pushing off with his left leg.
Self dubbed the injury “a bad one” after the victory, and Wilson had surgery the following week.
Despite being unable to work out or play with his teammates, the 6-foot-8 forward from Denton, Texas, has remained upbeat throughout his recovery and been on the end of the bench on game nights whenever possible.
He did not travel to Maui with the Jayhawks, but he has been at KU’s home games and attending classes.
Without Wilson, the Jayhawks’ rotation has been trimmed down to the nine available scholarship players.
Wilson’s injury, plans for scholarship players Mitch Lightfoot and Dajuan Harris to redshirt the 2019-20 season and the fact that KU already had an open scholarship after Issac McBride decided to transfer before the season began — he announced this week that he’s headed to Vanderbilt, by the way — took the Jayhawks’ lineup from 13 down to nine.
The second-ranked Jayhawks (8-1) will be in action at 4 p.m. Saturday, when they face Kansas City (formerly UMKC) at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.