Wisconsin senior point guard cleared to play, may return to practice next week

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CHICAGO — Wisconsin senior guard Traevon Jackson has been cleared to play and could return to practice on Monday, he told NBCSports.com on Friday.

The 6-foot-2 guard has been out since Jan. 12 with a fractured right foot, which Jackson suffered during the Badgers’ Big Ten loss to Rutgers.

“I’m going to practice on Monday unless I decide not to,” Jackson told NBCSports.com “The only reason I wouldn’t is if things are bothering me. We’ll see. It’s a daily type of thing.”

Jackson said he’s turned a corner in the last two weeks of his rehabilitation, as he’s been running and jumping with Wisconsin’s trainers trying to get back into shape. The point guard is also participating in pregame warmups with the team, but still isn’t ready for game action.

“In the last two weeks, it’s been great. We’ve been really amping it up, doing a lot more activity. A lot of running, a lot of jumping and stuff. Now it’s just about getting to 100 percent,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to be one of those guys that comes back and hobbles around. I want to be completely where I was at [before the injury].”

Although he’s improving from a physical standpoint, Jackson stressed that the mental part of the comeback will also play a factor in when he returns.

“Physically I’m about 90 percent. I definitely have a ways to go on some things. I feel good mentally. I just want to make sure everything with my body feels good,” Jackson said. “Making sure the bones and the ligaments around my foot are strong. With so much cutting as a guard, you have to make sure that’s strong enough.”

The starting point guard on last season’s Final Four team, Jackson has seen sophomore Bronson Koenig fill in admirably for him in his absence. Wisconsin has only lost one time since Jackson injured his foot and the senior is okay with whatever role is asked of him if he returns.

“If I came back, I wouldn’t see a reason to shuffle things up with the way we’ve been playing,” Jackson said. “I’ll just try to come back and help the team as much as possible and help the team win.”