It’s been four months since Brandon Ashley suffered the broken foot in Arizona’s visit to Cal that changed the trajectory of Arizona’s season.
And we’re still not close to Ashley being ready to return to full contact, five-on-five action.
“This four months really was about healing, really allowing everything to take shape, to stay off it,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller told reporters this week. “The one thing he’s doing is he’s started to walk under water. He has less and less soreness; it’s not pain anymore.”
The goal, Miller said, is to get Ashley back onto the court by August.
“We look at June, July, August as being pivotal. At that point we would like to see him return to form and be out there. He’s been in a difficult situation of taking it slow. It’s not easy just to do nothing.”
On the one hand, it’s a good thing that Arizona is taking this injury seriously and ensuring that Ashley, who potentially has an NBA career ahead of him, is back to 100% before returning to the court. But on the other hand, the summer months are when a basketball player actually improves. It’s when the athlete has a chance to get into the gym and develop his back-to-the-basket game or extend the range on his jumper. That’s when a starter turns himself into an all-league player or an all-league player becomes an all-american.
Getting healthy is priority No. 1 for Ashley, but it’s hard to imagine him taking his game to the next level in 2014-2015 without this offseason to improve.