Michigan forward Zak Irvin rehabbing, anxious to return to practice

Michigan forward Zak Irvin is busy rehabbing after offseason back surgery. Hopes to return to playing by the beginning of the regular season.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- If injuries weren't enough of an issue for Michigan basketball last season, the injury bug struck again to one the Wolverines' most experienced players on the roster.

Calling it a "minor back injury" occuring in an open gym that required offseason surgery, Irvin will be sidelined for the forseeable future as he recovers from his injury. 

"It happened over the summer just in open gym," Irvin said. "They said six-to-eight weeks and I'm just taking it day-by-day, working hard on my rehab. I'm just trying to get back out there with the guys."

The six-to-eight week timeline should allow Irvin to come back in time for the regular season to begin. However, with surgery and rehab, nothing is ever guaranteed. For now, Irvin would still like to be back early enough to make an impact.

"I'm trying to get back in the early part of the season," Irvin said. "That's the goal that I have right now. We'll see when it gets there."

Injuries played a role in getting some freshman valuable in-game experience last season. With Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton missing most of the season coupled with Spike Albrecht not at 100-percent, the sophomores that are returning saw serious minutes a year ago. Something that will be relied upon once again as U-M awaits the return of its experienced forward.

"Last year was tough with injuries we had to get past," Irvin said. "I think for the freshman last year, they're sophomores now, they get their feet wet and get that experience to get out on the court. I think that's going to help us this year with the depth that we have, that'll definitely help us as the season goes on.

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