CHAMPAIGN — Illinois has been relatively injury-free this season.
But John Groce’s squad got a scare during Saturday’s win against Nebraska when senior Sam McLaurin suffered a sprained right ankle.
McLaurin left early in the first half with the injury and tried to give it a go in the second half before being shut down for the day after playing eight minutes.
Groce said the 6-foot-8 forward suffered a mild sprain.
“We kind of took it easy on Sam (Sunday); he could have gone yesterday. We wanted to give him an extra day to recoup. His ankle looks good, and we’re anticipating him being able to play,” Groce said before Monday’s practice.
McLaurin has been receiving treatment from athletic trainer Paul Schmidt.
“He looks great today,” Groce said. “Sam cares at a high level, and he’s going to do everything he’s supposed to do. Paul Schmidt’s been working with him very rigorously; and we expect him to practice (Monday).”
The only Illini to miss a game this season because of injury or illness was Devin Langford, who was sick for the Ohio State game Jan. 5.
“We’ve been very fortunate. That just kind of goes with the territory a little bit. We’ve been very lucky when we’ve been dinged up here and there,” Groce said. “Our trainer Paul does a great job. We’ve got great doctors; those guys have really tended to those guys well and got them back quickly so hopefully that trend continues.”