The senior guard left the Missouri game with 19 minutes remaining. NU failed to hang with tougher opponents from that point forward, losing to Mizzou and to UCLA the day after.
Thankfully, with another game upcoming, Crawford participated in practice and appears to be recovering well.
"It felt great to get back on the court after a couple days of resting," Crawford said before Tuesday's practice. "Overall, my body felt good."
Now at 4-4, NU will travel to Raleigh to face North Carolina State as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Wolfpack has also struggled in the early season, losing to North Carolina Central on Nov. 20.
Still, the Wildcats' chances would be bolstered with the return of Crawford. He's averaging 14.3 points – including 44 percent three-point shooting – and 6.9 rebounds. He and Jershon Cobb are forming a surprising offensive tandem in Evanston, with the latter doubling his career scoring average.
Chris Collins hinted at good news for tomorrow's game: "I think [Drew's] on track. He wants to give it a go. Any time you're dealing with back spasms, you never know when it can flare up. We're cautiously optimistic, but we hope to have him out there tomorrow."
Crawford said the athletic trainer will bring "stim machines" to help him during the charter flight — hoping his back can stay loose. And as for the long-term implications of his injury, Crawford remained confident.
"I think it's one of those things [where] if you're proactive about it and make sure you're taking care of your body, it hopefully won't be recurring."
On track to play in Wednesday's game, Drew Crawford would give Northwestern a chance at its first impressive road win of the Chris Collins era.