MSU head coach Tom Izzo still doesn't know when he will get his starting point guard Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn Jr. back. Izzo said on Monday his top priority is making sure the plantar fasciitis doesn't linger into next season.
"But as far as any consistency where he's going to be able to practice, where he's going to be able to be able to work on those things, I think that we're looking at now the end of the season, getting him healthy for next year, which doesn't seem to be an issue," Izzo said. "It's going to take total rest and some other things. One of the sadder kind of talks I've had to have with a player — him and I spend some time together and doctors and I've got to admit, you know."
Izzo said he doesn't know if Nairn will be able to play or practice for at least the next month and said when he does bring him back, it might not be the full-time starting role Nairn had before his injury. Izzo also hinted he could possibly play Nairn in 2-to-5 minute stretches during games if someone gets in foul trouble.
"It sounds ridiculous, but at least for a couple of more weeks, guys, this is going to be a day-to-day, he’s not going to practice, if he does practice it might be to shoot free throws," Izzo said. "It’s a sad deal for me, for him, and I think for us. I still think he has great value. Just like a game tomorrow, where I think they’re going to put pressure on Denzel and that, it can wear a point guard down. He can give us three minutes here, three minutes there, two minutes here. It’s just going to be very sparingly if any for a while.
"We miss that kid. That kid can push it from one end to the other as good as anybody and he can defend as good as anybody."
Nairn has been battling the plantar fasciitis in his right foot since last summer and Izzo shut him down after MSU's home loss to Iowa on Jan. 14. Nairn was averaging 4.1 points and 4.5 assists per game before his injury and is averaging the fifth best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country at 4.76-to-1.
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