BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Now that the who, the when and the where have been addressed about IU's NCAA fate, the next question that must be answered concerns the availability of Robert Vaden.
Indiana's 6-5, 210-pound sophomore injured his left ankle in the closing minutes of Saturday's Big Ten Tournament semifinal loss to Ohio State. Vaden said he landed on OSU center Terence Dials' foot after going up for a rebound, and he had to be helped off the court and into the locker room.
Vaden said Sunday he suffered a high ankle sprain, but he doesn't expect it to keep him out of Thursday's match-up with San Diego State.
"I'm going to play," Vaden said Sunday. "It's day to day, but hopefully I'll be back Thursday. (IU Trainer Tim Garl), we have a good training staff to get me back."
Vaden didn't put any weight on his foot while leaving the court Sunday, which made many in attendance think the injury could potentially keep him from returing to the floor this season. But Vaden said the injury is already progressing rapidly.
"It feels pretty good," Vaden said. "After the game I couldn't walk (on it), and today I can walk. So that's pretty good."
IU Coach Mike Davis is equally optimistic.
"It's day to day," Davis said. "He got treatment last night until about 11 p.m. We definitely think he'll be ready to play."
Marshall Strickland has been playing alongside Vaden all season and expects to be flanked by him again on Thursday. But if the injury doesn't recover to the point that the Hoosiers' second-leading scorer is ready to go, Strickland said the team will just have to do what it can to extend its season long enough so Vaden can return to the floor.
"We expect him to play,but if not, we'll have other guys step up and we'll buy him some time by winning this weekend," Strickland said.
Vaden Talks About Injured Ankle
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