Gophers sophomore guard Amir Coffey isn’t cleared yet to play Tuesday at Iowa after tweaking his previously injured right shoulder last week against Northwestern.
Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said Monday that Coffey isn’t practicing and is day-to-day. The 6-foot-8 Hopkins native played the last two games after being out for a five-game stretch with the shoulder injury.
Coffey had 15 points, five turnovers and four rebounds in 32 minutes before fouling out in last Tuesday’s 77-69 loss against Northwestern at home. He tweaked his shoulder on a dunk that brought the Gophers within 66-63 with 4:15 left in the second half.
“I don’t want to say re-injured it without knowing the specifics of what exactly it is,” Pitino said. “But you could tell that hurt him a little bit. So we go day-to-day with all this stuff … there’s a protocol with what you do. You never want to rush guys back. You want to make sure they’re 100 percent. We’ll continue to do that and see where it goes.”
Coffey’s left handed, so the injury doesn’t affect his shooting arm. He has worn heavy tape on his right shoulder the last two games.
After a Jan. 3 victory over Illinois, Coffey was diagnosed with a humeral avulsion glenohumeral ligament (HAGL) lesion, which is a ligament tear near the front of the shoulder.
The estimated timeline for recovery was at least six weeks, which would have had him back in February. Coffey said recently that his timetable changed after progressing quicker in rehab.
“It’s been tough doing physical therapy all day,” Coffey said after making his return Jan. 20 against Ohio State. “It was kind of a weird injury. I just had to battle through it.”
Coffey is scheduled to have a doctor appointment on Friday to re-evaluate his shoulder. The Gophers play 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Michigan. So it will be interesting to see what happens if Coffey is out for the Iowa game on Tuesday.
McBrayer needed help into the locker room and couldn’t put weight on his left leg after a collision in the first half against Northwestern last week. But he returned to the game after halftime and finished with 11 points and five assists in 33 minutes in the loss.
The 6-5 junior guard wears a walking boot after games and hasn’t participated in a full practice since sitting out two games with a lower left leg injury in late December. But McBrayer, who is also day-to-day, has played the last nine games.
“Dupree has been banged up for a while,” Pitino said. “But (he and Coffey) are showing great heart. And I appreciate that.”
Pitino said Monday that sophomore big man Eric Curry is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a torn ACL he suffered last August.
The 6-9 Curry would likely be the Gophers' starting center right now with Reggie Lynch out the last seven games because of a suspension. Pitino said they will not take away Curry's redshirt to play this season, but he could've been able to play possibly at the end of next month.
"If he plays, he has to burn his redshirt," Pitino said. "I don't pretend to be a doctor, but my guess would be if there was no eligibility things I think there could be (possibility he would play). But we're not even looking to push that ... nobody's even remotely thinking of doing that."