The Gophers men's basketball team's leading scorer, Dawson Garcia, has been sick this week and is still recovering heading into preparation for Sunday's Big Ten opener at Purdue.
Garcia, who had just four points on 2-for-9 shooting in Monday's 67-57 loss at Virginia Tech, missed practice Wednesday after dealing with a cold since before the last game.
"He's feeling better," Gophers coach Ben Johnson said. "He's been out the last couple days, but he's going to go today and see what he can do. You want all the pieces there now, so we can all work together and grow."
The Gophers (4-3) have been relying heavily on Garcia to open the season, especially when Jamison Battle missed the first four games with a foot injury. Garcia, the 6-11 former Prior Lake standout, is averaging a team-best 14.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 29 minutes.
"You got to get your legs under you and your strength," Johnson said on Garcia. "More than anything I just feel bad because of the timing piece. You want practice, you want court time, you want reps."
Johnson needs all hands on deck to face the No. 5-ranked Boilermakers, who are led by 7-4 center Zach Edey, an All-America candidate. The Gophers aren't sure whether Garcia, 7-foot sophomore Treyton Thompson or 6-9, 255-pound freshman Pharrel Payne will be mostly matched up with Edey.
But more than anything, Johnson hopes Garcia and Battle can feel comfortable playing together and both be healthy on the court again soon.