Michigan head coach John Beilein remains ‘hopeful’ that point guard will return this season

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With starting point guard Derrick Walton Jr. having missed the last seven games with an injury to his right foot, Michigan head coach John Beilein hoped that there would be progress from a health standpoint. Unfortunately for Michigan, Walton was able to go just 15 minutes in a workout on Thursday before having to cut the session short.

And according to the Detroit Free Press, that makes it unlikely that the sophomore will play at No. 14 Maryland on Saturday. But even with this being the case, Beilein holds out hope that his starting point guard will be able to return to the court at some point this season but refuses to rush Walton back onto the court before he’s ready.

“We’re hopeful he’s going to play again this year. We’re hopeful of that. But it’s tough to tell the extent of the injury. When you get down into the foot, it’s difficult.”

“At one time, I thought maybe he’ll be back for Ohio State (last Sunday), but he wasn’t,” Beilein said. “OK, maybe the week off will help. But we’re not going to play him when he’s injured.”

Without Walton junior Spike Albrecht has taken as the team’s primary ball-handler, and his play was a major factor in the Wolverines’ win over Ohio State on Sunday. Albrecht played 38 minutes in the 64-57 victory, scoring 16 points while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out five assists without committing a single turnover.

If Michigan is to have a shot at knocking off the Terrapins Saturday they’ll need a similar performance from Albrecht, as Maryland is also led by one of the nation’s top freshmen in point guard Melo Trimble.