Some good news came out of Champaign on Wednesday. Despite rumors of a prolonged absence from the court, Jalen Coleman-Lands will begin the process of returning to basketball activities after a recent evaluation on the stress fracture in his left foot. The incoming freshman guard suffered the injury during a workout in July, and he was forced to miss the team's overseas exhibition trip.
Statement from John Groce:
"Following Jalen Coleman-Lands' latest evaluation by team physicians, he will begin the process of progressing back to basketball activities. There is no specific timetable set for his return. We look forward to him returning to the court once fully healthy."
While it's still likely that Coleman-Lands will miss regular season games, this is very encouraging news for the team. Stress fractures can be very tricky to deal with.
Coleman-Lands, who was a consensus top-40 player coming out of high school, is considered to be Illinois' top incoming player. While he wasn't going to be in the starting lineup initially, Coleman-Lands seemed like an ideal candidate to fill the role of ‘sixth-man'. It's been years since Illinois has had a dynamic scoring option coming off the bench and the 6-foot-3 guard will be able to provide that extra spark in about 20 minutes per game.