Spartans missing Trice's presence

Without backup point guard, more being demanded of Appling, Harris and Valentine. The guards and Izzo talk about not having the junior Trice in the mix.

The injury bug continues to haunt Michigan State.

The latest victim is junior point guard Travis Trice, who already missed time earlier in the season with blisters on his feet.

This time, the Spartans don't know what has got the junior ill and coach Tom Izzo hadn't seen the junior as practice concluded Thursday.

"I called him this morning and he was still in bed," Izzo said. "I have not seen him. He is supposed to be coming by tonight. … They did mono tests, they did all the tests you could do, he just has the flu bug or is sick, maybe tired.

"All the bad things have been ruled out, so it's bizarre."

Whatever is keeping Trice out, it had him missing practice for the days leading up to MSU's overtime win against Ohio State on Tuesday.

The lack of its backup point guard also left Michigan State upping the minutes for Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine.

With Appling fighting calf cramps throughout Tuesday's game and Harris working to get his conditioning back after missing time with an ankle injury, it was a lot to ask of the pair.

"(The cramps) were the main issue and trying to fight a little fatigue," Appling said. "Not having Travis kind of hurt me a lot, but guys like Denzel and Gary were able to pick it up a little bit."

Harris, who played 42 minutes against the Buckeyes, said his conditioning is improving since his return.

"It's getting better," he said. "Just taking it one day at a time and getting in extra conditioning when I can on the treadmill and trying to do some pool workouts."

Still, the return of Trice will be welcomed at any time.

"It's tough," Harris said. "It kind of messes up our rotation. Hopefully Trav gets well and is back with us soon."

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