USA Today // Mike Granse

Illini F Michael Finke 'very unlikely' vs. Rutgers

Illini freshman forward has not practiced last two days after knee contusion; Kendrick Nunn a 'game-time decision' following hip contusion

Illinois freshman forward Michael Finke is "very unlikely" to play in Wednesday's game at Rutgers, coach John Groce said.

Finke suffered a knee contusion during Sunday's 63-55 home loss to Wisconsin. He did not practice on Monday or Tuesday.

An MRI on Monday revealed no serious injury to Finke.

"I'd say he's very unlikely tomorrow unless his pain and his soreness gets a little better," Groce said. "There's nothing structurally wrong there. It was a knee-on-knee contusion. Those aren't real comfortable or fun. There's some pain that comes with those. I do think it'll get better with some time. Will it get better quick enough to be able to play tomorrow night? I'd say very unlikely. I know our trainer's going to try to work some magic, but I don't think that's going to happen."

Finke is the Illini's fourth leading scorer (9.0 points per game) this season and the third leading active scorer with Mike Thorne Jr. still suffering soreness and swelling in his surgically repair knee. Groce called Thorne Jr. "out" for Wednesday's game.

With Thorne Jr., Finke and Leron Black out, the Illini are extremely thin in the post with Maverick MorganMalcolm Hill and walk-on Cameron Liss available. Freshman forward D.J. Williams also may play at the four.

Groce said junior guard Kendrick Nunn, who left Sunday's game early in the second half with a hip contusion only to return and finish the game with 15 points, is a "game-time decision." Nunn did not practice on Monday but went through limited contact drills on Tuesday.

"He looked OK," Groce said. "His mobility much like it was in the second half the other night when he shot the ball short and didn't move very well on either end of the floor post the contusion or the hit there, he looked very similar yesterday and today. So how effective he'll be, I don't know. He'll be a game-time decision based on what our trainers are able to do, as will Finke. I just think (Nunn) is a little bit more probably than Finke is my gut. I'll trust our trainers on that in terms of making that decision."


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