Lofton will practice today

Just as you must walk before you can run, you must practice before you can play. That being the case, this afternoon could be a big day for the University of Tennessee basketball team's star player.

Chris Lofton will practice today for the first time since he severely sprained his right ankle two minutes into the second half of the Vols' Jan. 20 game with South Carolina. It won't be a full-scale practice but it still represents a key step in Lofton's quest to be available for action in Wednesday night's home game against Georgia.

"We'll practice today but we're not going to go hard," head coach Bruce Pearl said during his Monday afternoon media conference. "We'd like to have Chris out there – reviewing play calls, maybe going through a half-speed scout, getting shots – and see how he's able to move within the framework of a half-speed practice.

The Vols normally hold a full-speed practice on Monday after a Saturday game. Since they played on Sunday last weekend (losing 76-57 at Kentucky), however, Pearl is scaling back a bit today.

"Tomorrow we'll go live and we'll go full-speed," the coach said, adding that Lofton "will take the day off. We will treat the ankle and see how it responds to swelling and pain, whatever he's going to incur. That would be how you'd normally rehab anyway."

Regardless of what happens in practice today, there will be no decision on Lofton's availability for the Georgia game until shortly before tip-off on Wednesday.

"It will be a game-time decision," Pearl said.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories