Chris Allen can't wait to get back in the lineup.
After missing three games due to a bone bruise in his foot, the freshman guard is looking forward to getting back on the court as No.6 Michigan State (12-1) opens up Big Ten conference play hosting Minnesota (10-2) on Saturday.
Allen made his return to last week against Wisconsin Green-Bay, scoring two points in just six minutes of play.
Coach Tom Izzo was very cautious of his freshman guard and would not let him play any longer and risking a re-aggravation.
But with a week of preparation before hosting the Golden Gophers, Allen says that this week will be critical for him to recover.
"It's going to help me a lot," said Allen. "I'm probably not going to practice much this week, trying to get my foot better. It has been kind of sad missing time, but its helping me a lot, what freshman has time to sit around and gets to watch games and pick apart games, so it's helping me a lot."
In preparation for their Big Ten opener and coming off a brief New Year's break, Izzo has scheduled several two-a-day practices this week to condition his team for the conference schedule, which figures to be tough as always.
As a result, Izzo is still limiting Allen's practice time all week.
"He didn't practice much today because we're going two- a-days," said Izzo. "He has practiced every day about two thirds and we're still a little cautious, but he's doing a good job and he's been getting back pretty solid."
Raymar Morgan had a similar setback in his freshman season around MSU's holiday schedule last year, missing several weeks due to a stress fracture in his shin. Morgan gave Allen some tips on how to stay focused and not let an injury get him down.
"Raymar told me to keep my head up and keep doing treatments and that's really the only thing I can do right now," said Allen.
A healthy Chris Allen will be important for the Spartans, who rely on their depth and rotation in staying fresh and wearing out teams late so far this season.
Allen is averaging 6.9 points in 13.8 minutes per game this season and provides versatility inside and outside with his shooting.
Besides simply getting back from injury, Allen and fellow freshmen Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers will be playing in their first Big Ten game, which brings a lot more excitement and meaning to every game for the rest of the season.
"Everything that the upperclassmen have told is that all of the games that we have played so far is nothing like your first Big Ten game," said Allen. ‘I think it's going to be pretty competitive and we just have to get ready, all of this prep is what we are doing this for."
After MSU knocked off then No.4 Texas two weeks ago, another Big Ten team, Wisconsin went to Texas and handed the Longhorns a second consecutive loss overall and second to a Big Ten team in as many games.
The Badgers closed their non-conference schedule with a bang and they will be one of the teams that will make the conference tough, especially on the road.
After seeing the Badgers beat Texas, Allen expects the Big Ten to naturally be tougher than any of their non-conference games.
"I've seen those games and it's an eye opener, anybody can be beat on any night," said Allen.
After finishing 8-8 the last two seasons in the Big Ten, Michigan State finds itself as the favorite in the Big Ten to win the conference, bringing high expectations.
They will start their quest for their first Big Ten title since 2001 on Saturday against Minnesota (8 pm ET, Big Ten Network).
Chris Allen Anxious To Return From Injury
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