Leuer on the Road Back

Wisconsin junior Jon Leuer, having missed the last seven games after left wrist surgery, appears to be close to returning for the Badgers.

MADISON - There's still has been no timetable set for his return but if Sunday was any indication, junior Jon Leuer could be rejoining the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team very soon.

Leuer took part in limited free throw shooting work at the end of practice, making his last five free throws (including one that ended practice for the Badgers) and spent the better part of 35 minutes working with assistant coach Gary Close on various types of shooting drills.

"He's able to do some conditioning things and a little bit of shooting," Close said after practice. "I know he is anxious to get going, but we are bringing him along slowly."

Leuer started the first 16 games of the season and was the Badgers' second-leading scorer, averaging 15.4 points per game, and the leading rebounder (6.2 per game) and shot blocker (1.2 per game) when he suffered a broken bone in his left wrist on Jan. 9 in UW's 73-66 victory over Purdue. He underwent successful surgery on Jan. 12 and could return near the end of the regular season but before the Big Ten tournament, set for March 11-14 in Indianapolis.

Leuer has not been made available for comment and UW officials have declined to provide updates. However, Leuer has shed his brace and is working solely with his white cast.

"You just got to listen to what the doctors are saying and follow their guidelines," Close said. "He anxious to get going, but he's got to be smart about it."

Second-place Wisconsin (18-5, 8-3 Big Ten Conference) is 5-2 in Leuer's absence and hosts Illinois (16-8, 8-3) Tuesday.

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