Collins Battling Through Pain

He may be the key to KU's chances of winning its fourth straight Big 12 championship and the Jayhawks' quest for a national title. Sherron Collins is quite simply the speedy point guard who makes this Kansas attack fly.

Sherron Collins knows his importance to the team. And while he may be hurting again, don’t expect the tough sophomore guard to sit out the Oklahoma State game at Gallagher Iba Arena this Saturday with a bruised knee.

Collins injured his right knee in practice last week and had not practiced Monday and Tuesday after playing 23 minutes against Colorado on Saturday.

“I’ll play through (the pain),” he said on Thursday. “I don't know about my minutes. I just want to go out there and do whatever coach asks me to. I'll play."

The knee injury is just the latest blow for Collins during an injury plagued season. He missed six games in November and December after undergoing surgery on his left foot, and then suffered a sprained right ankle in practice on Jan. 18. Collins was starting to show his old form before this latest knee injury, scoring 12 points versus Missouri on Feb. 4, followed by 18 points against Baylor five days later.

Senior teammate Russell Robinson knows Collins will be on the court competing Saturday against the Cowboys.

"I think he'll be a little limited, but he's still going to be a contributor to the team,” Robinson said. “As long as we keep him in good spirits, he will be fine."

Collins, who averages 9.2 points per game (9.3 ppg last season), said the off week has been helpful for his injury.

"It was a good week for me,” he said. “I'm just going to go in (the training room) and get treatment like I have been doing. Hopefully, it will turn around pretty quick. It is heading in the right direction. It takes time. It's a nagging injury and I'm just trying not to get it hit again. It is better now than it was last game."

While this has been a trying season, Collins is just trying to persevere and and maintain good spirits.

“For a couple games I've been full strength,” he said, “but this is the hand I've been dealt and I have to play it."

KU coach Bill Self said he hoped Collins could play on Saturday, but he certainly wouldn’t be 100 percent. And how will he use him?

“I hope he can play the same role he’s always played,” Self said. “He’ll be the first guy off the bench on the perimeter and play 25 to 28 minutes. That’s what I’m hoping, but I don’t know if that’s realistic.”

“I would say he’s frustrated, but he’s handled it well,” Self added. “One reason why it’s easier to handle it this time is because it’s a day to day deal. It’s not like he’s going to be out four to six weeks. There’s hope every day when he goes to treatment that this could be the day he gets back.”

On a positive note, Self said Collins is the “lightest he’s been since he’s been at Kansas.” Self commented that Collins has done a “good,” yet not “great”  job of controlling his weight.

“Last week he was right at 200 (pounds) every day, which is good, but he hasn’t done anything in the last five days,” Self said. “So it probably isn’t quite there now, but he’s done a good job with his weight.”

One matter is certain regarding the Chicago native. KU needs a healthy and great Sherron Collins to make a deep run in March.

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