Status of injured KU sophomore Marcus Garrett still in question
The hope all along was that injured sophomore Marcus Garrett would return by Saturday’s home game against West Virginia.
But that timeline appears to be moving back just a little.
KU coach Bill Self, during his weekly “Hawk Talk” radio show Tuesday night, said the sophomore guard and regular KU starter was still dealing with up-and-down days during his recovery from a high ankle sprain he suffered on Feb. 1.
“He’s making some progress,” Self said. “But it’s slow.”
Garrett has missed KU’s last 4 games and his return to the lineup for Saturday’s 3 p.m. game vs. West Virginia at Allen Fieldhouse is certainly no guarantee.
“The training stuff feels that he’s not in a bad place at all,” Self said Tuesday. “But he’s in a bad place considering what we wish he was. With those high ankle sprains, he’s hurting. And when he works out and does certain things, sometimes swelling occurs again and those kinds of things.”
What is a guarantee is that, even if Garrett does return Saturday — or even next Saturday (Feb. 23) at Texas Tech — it’s unlikely that he will be fully healed.
“He may be weeks away from being 100 percent,” Self said. “But the reality of it is, we thought it would be very hopeful and maybe realistic to get him back by Saturday. But based on where he was (earlier this week), I don’t know that that’s as realistic.”
Before traveling to Texas Tech for their next road game, the Jayhawks play just once in the next 10 days, which should give Garrett time to rest, rehab and potentially return to practicing in full.
“We need to have him practicing by next Tuesday (Feb. 19) or so to have him be close to (having) some game rhythm before we play on the following Saturday (at Texas Tech),” Self said. “If there is a good thing about it, it’s the fact that we have a week off next week, so that may give him a little time to try to get right.”
Despite the injury being one of the latest in a line of setbacks and adversity Self’s program has had to battle with this season, the Jayhawks are 3-1 this month without Garrett, who has emerged as one of the top defensive players in the Big 12 and long been called the best defender on this Kansas team.
KU is currently a game and a half behind Kansas State — which won at Texas on Tuesday night — for first place in the Big 12 standings, with six games to play.
Getting Garrett back for any of the final six, heading into the postseason, clearly would be a lift for a KU team that faced the reality of nearly having to put a walk-on in during Monday’s win at TCU after three Jayhawks fouled out in overtime.