Colorado still hopeful Xavier Johnson returns this season

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Colorado is still hoping that they’ll have senior forward Xavier Johnson available for Pac-12 play this season.

Johnson tore his Achilles’ tendon in June in a team workout, an injury that required surgery to repair. He was — and still is — expected to miss the entire season, but Colorado head coach Tad Boyle hasn’t ruled out a return during Pac-12 play for Johnson.

“Nothing is definite,” Boyle told CBSSports.com. “We will address it in mid-December and see where he is. My guess is redshirt, but I’m not ruling out a Pac-12 season return either. We’re preparing for either scenario.”

The decision on whether or not to rush Johnson back from injury may depend on how close Colorado, who is expected to be a bubble team this season, is to the tournament. If they need a late boost from a guy that averaged 10.3 points and 5.6 boards last season, maybe they’ll try to bring him back. Josh Scott is a senior this season as well, meaning this may be their best chance to make a run.

But would Johnson be willing to burn his final season of eligibility trying to come back this quickly from an injury? Just how effective would he be, returning from a serious injury after having sat out for seven months? And since Scott is graduating, wouldn’t it be nice to have a veteran presence on their front court in 2016-17?

In other words, I still think it’s unlikely that he’ll make it back this season.