Beilein updates Livers', Simpson's health heading into Illinois game

Beilein updates Livers', Simpson's health heading into Illinois game

Basketball

Beilein updates Livers', Simpson's health heading into Illinois game

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Wolverines have been short-handed the past few games, with former starter and current sixth-man, sophomore forward Isaiah Livers being sidelined with back spasms.

But hopefully, on Thursday night, that’s no longer a concern.

Beilein says that Livers did return to practice and wasn’t necessarily spending all of his time in treatment, as he had going into the Indiana game on Sunday.

“Yeah, he was able to practice yesterday,” Beilein said. “So, to somewhat degree, and we’re very hopeful.”

But that’s not the short of it, of course. Returning to practice is one thing. Being effective is another.

And Beilein says that he looked a lot more like the Isaiah Livers that this team is used to counting on.

“He was much different than he was yesterday in practice,” “I can’t tell you he’s gonna go, but he was much – it seemed like he was out of a lot of the pain he was in before.”

Of course, Livers’ absence meant big minutes for some other players — which, on Sunday, included freshman big man Brandon Johns Jr., who had 8 points and 8 rebounds in 13 minutes.

Should Livers be limited, once again, now we’re starting to see what kind of depth this Michigan team — which doesn’t have much depth to begin with — has. Which is key, given that it’s Big Ten play moving forward.

“Certainly, Brandon really benefitted from it, having the opportunity to go in there and just play basketball, so that was really good,” Beilein said. “Eli played elevated minutes as well – not elevated, but he played a lot of minutes as well.

“That’s how we’re always gonna be. You look back at Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, and there was no way he was gonna play his freshman year. There was no way, but it led him – he didn’t have a great freshman year, but it led him to great junior and senior years. There’s always good effects from that.”

But, Livers isn’t the only one who has been nursing an injury.

Point guard Zavier Simpson apparently has been dealing with an apparent foot injury, which he sustained at the end of the Indiana game on Sunday.

However, Beilein expect him to be a full go on Thursday.

“A little bit of a tweak to his foot, but he practiced yesterday,” Beilein said. “Did you notice that? Because I didn’t until the next day, I saw it at the very end of the game.”

Michigan and Illinois tip-off at 8PM EST in Champaign, with the game to be televised on FS1.

Follow/Contact @WolverinesWire / @isaiahhole

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