Wisconsin senior guard Freddie Owens may be back in the lineup but his status is still questionable in some ways. Owens did not appear in practice on Monday and was seen walking around with a boot on his left foot, which he originally injured in practice Jan. 17.
Owens returned to action last Wednesday in the 80-66 win over Minnesota but looked a step behind while contributing six points off of 2-for-9 shooting in 25 minutes. He tallied another 20 minutes in the 69-51 loss to Northwestern Saturday but was scoreless and went 0-for-4.
"How important is he?," coach Bo Ryan asked. "Well, you take how many games of experience, how many times did we work him in a video session, on the floor, teaching, working, cajoling, patting, pushing over the years to be in the position as a senior to be the kind of contributor that you hope for. He's always listened, he's always worked. Some of that has gotten away because of the injury."
Though Owens was seen in a boot, he is projected to be in the starting lineup for Wednesday's matchup in Iowa against the Hawkeyes. Ryan, though, is still a little apprehensive about getting Owens back into the mix.
"Obviously I'm concerned for him from the coaching standpoint," Ryan said. "Just as a person who has known him and understands how frustrating it can be when you say ‘nagging' injuries. But if you can't do the things with total confidence, yet you are cleared to participate, somewhere in your mind you have to overcome those things. So, I am concerned about him just being able to relax and play and believe that everything is going to be alright."