Stiemsma returns to practice

Freshman center had been out since mid-November

Greg Stiemsma returned to practice for the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team in "modified" capacity Saturday. That practice and subsequent sessions Sunday and Monday were closed to the media, but Badger coach Bo Ryan acknowledged Monday that Stiemsma was participating in a limited fashion while he continues to recuperate from a right foot injury.

It is still unknown when Stiemsma, a highly regarded 6-foot-11 freshman center from Randolph, Wis., will be cleared for game action.

Stiemsma injured the foot during the Badgers' exhibition schedule in mid-November. A Nov. 18 press release stated the he would miss 6-8 weeks.

Stiemsma began light shooting work in practice more than a week ago and Ryan affirmed Monday that Stiemsma was now taking part in some scrimmage work, in addition to drills.

"He doesn't get to go the whole time and it's just easing him back into the routine," Ryan said of Stiemsma's limitations. "But typical timing, not there on the decision-making with passes and footwork, and all the things that normally get a little rusty when you're not playing. But he'll work his way back. And modified simply means not at full strength."

Stiemsma exhausted his redshirt when he played in Wisconsin's first exhibition game, scoring four points while grabbing seven rebounds and blocking two shots in 16 minutes. He could still apply for a medical redshirt if he is unable to compete in more than 20 percent of the Badgers' games.

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