September 27, 2013

Izzo set for 19th season, Harris available

EAST LANSING - Sophomore guard Gary Harris is expected to be able to participate when Michigan State begins practice today (Friday afternoon), exactly four weeks after he sustained an ankle injury during optional workouts.

Harris, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season, participated in lay-ups and shooting drills through last weekend and into this week.

When Harris went down with the injury, doctors estimated that he would be out four to eight weeks. Today marks four weeks, and head coach Tom Izzo says Harris could practice hard today, but probably won't be asked to do so.

"He is way ahead of where we thought he would be the day he did it but we are not going to take any chances," Izzo said. "He is gradually coming back. They are hoping he'll be able to do more than a few things for the first practice.

"At times, they say he can do a lot. If it was in the middle of the season, would he play? Probably.

"But I'm a little skeptical and protective on exactly what we're going to do. So we are definitely going to err on the side of caution."

The Spartans return their top three scorers - and six of their top seven - from a team that went 27-9 last season and advanced to the Sweet 16 as a No. 3 seed.

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