Michigan was plagued by injuries last year. But when the Wolverines take the floor to open the 2015-16 season, John Beilein expects to have a healthy lineup, which includes Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr.
He also expects Zak Irvin to be ready to play when Michigan opens the season against Northern Michigan on Nov. 13 in Ann Arbor. The junior wing underwent back surgery on Sept. 9. The procedure put him on the sidelines for 6-8 weeks.
“He is getting better every day,” Beilein said Friday morning in a radio interview with WTKA 1050 AM, transcribed by Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com.
“He can’t do anything yet, but he’s very vocal and leading,” Beilein said Friday morning. “We feel really good about what we said, (that he’ll return) somewhere here in the start of the season and we expect him to be back out on the court for us.”
Irvin was the most recent Wolverine to be bit by the injury bug. LeVert missed 14 games with a left foot injury Derrick Walton missed all of 13 games his own foot injury. Spike Albrecht managed to play through pain before undergoing offseason surgery on both hips. Beilein said LeVert and Walton have are playing with “no restriction” on Friday afternoon, according to Quinn. Albrecht says he’s hoping to get to 100 percent within the next month.
The 6-foot-6 Irvin averaged 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds last year.
Some positive news for Michigan fans late this week as senior leader and guard Spike Albrecht took the floor and shot some jumpers for the first time in nearly five months after offseason hip surgery. The 5-foot-11 Albrecht played through pain during his junior season and later had the offseason hip surgery on both hips, but only one operation could be done at a time.
That meant an April surgery on one hip and a May surgery on the other, but Albrecht is already back and shooting jumpers as practice doesn’t start for another six weeks or so.
As a junior, Albrecht put up 7.5 points and 3.9 assists per game for the Wolverines, who should hopefully be far healthier for the 2015-16 campaign. Albrecht, along with senior guard Caris LeVert and junior guard Derrick Walton, are all expected to return to the lineup in full health after the trio all dealt with injury issues last season for Michigan.
(H/T: Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press)
Michigan was badly hit with injuries to its backcourt last season as starting point guard Derrick Walton (toe) and starting shooting guard Caris LeVert (foot) both missed significant time. Both Walton and LeVert are recovering this offseason and they’re joined in the recovery process by rising senior guard Spike Albrecht (hip surgery).
According to Wolverines head coach John Beilein, Walton and LeVert will both participate in team workouts the next two weeks. Beilein spoke to reporters, including Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press, at Oakland head coach Greg Kampe’s charity golf outing.
“Derrick will be full-go,” Beilein said of his starting point guard. “And Caris is actually gonna do some drills with us. He’s not gonna go full yet, won’t go full court.”
Albrecht, meanwhile, will be walking on his own soon after surgery on both hips this offseason that should alleviate some discomfort that he was playing through last season. It appears all three veteran guards should be healthy by the time the 2015-16 season begins and the trio is a big reason why Michigan sits at No. 17 in our way-too-early Top 25.