Two Memphis players to miss practice time for health reasons

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It isn’t uncommon for players to pick up some bumps and bruises during preseason practices, with the hope being that any medical issues that may arise don’t turn out to be serious. Count Memphis among the teams who are currently dealing with this, as it was reported Wednesday that two players are expected to miss about a week of practice as they recover from injuries.

According to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commecial Appeal, sophomore forward Austin Nichols and sophomore guard Avery Woodson will be sidelined for the next week or so. Nichols, who will pair up with junior Shaq Goodwin to lead what should be one of the better front courts in the country, is dealing with a shoulder sprain while Woodson suffered a concussion as a result of his catching a Trahson Burrell elbow to the face.

The good news is that given the reported timetables neither Nichols nor Woodson is expected to miss any game action. But to not have two expected contributors adds a wrinkle to the process of getting this talented group to mesh together for head coach Josh Pastner.

The front court won’t lack for depth or talent, with Nichols and Goodwin being joined by Burrell, fellow junior college product Chris Hawkins and Southern transfer Calvin Godfrey. Memphis will also have wings Nick King and Kuran Iverson in the mix. The backcourt is where the questions lie in light of the team losing four senior guards at the end of last season.

Vanderbilt transfer Kedren Johnson gives the Tigers a player with Division I experience, with players such as Woodson, Pookie Powell and Markel Crawford among the options competing for minutes.