Bess injured his right ankle going through a drill in practice the day after Christmas. He had surgery in the fall to repair a broken bone in his right foot.
He played just five minutes in the Spartans’ double overtime loss to Maryland, but now is expected to be back again in a greater role.
”It’s still a little bit sore but I can get through the pain,” Bess said. “I feel a lot better than I did even against Maryland.”
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Bess has “taken a 50 percent turn for the better” and he expects him to see significant action moving forward, including Monday against Indiana.
”I know we’re not getting some things out of a couple guys, big plays, being in the right place, coming up with the big rebound, maybe getting to the foul line a little bit more and those are things I think he will do,” Izzo said. “I expect him to play more in this game.”
The 6-foot-5 freshman guard, who has played some minutes at the four behind Branden Dawson, figures to help the Spartans. Izzo previously has praised Bess’ toughness and sees that he will add to his team and solidify a rotation that has needed more consistency and production off the bench.
“Oh we are going to be a lot better team when we get Bess back,” Izzo said. “Whether that’s good enough to win, whether we still have a guy down the stretch that can get us the game, I’m not going to say that 100 percent. And don’t think Bess is Jabari Parker. He’s not a freshman like that.
”He is a guy that does all the dirty work. He is a poor man’s, smaller Draymond Green. He knows where to be and he knows what to do and he knows how to score.”
With Indiana coming up, Bess hopes he can help against a Hoosiers team that brings size and aggressiveness, but also goes small sometimes.
”I feel like I can help guarding bigger guards but I have to get healthy,” he said. “I feel like I’m good right now so I’ll be good to go against Indiana.”