Portland, Ore. — Miles Bridges didn’t play on Thursday in Michigan State’s victory over DePaul at the PK80 Invitational, but there’s a pretty good chance he’ll get on the floor in the next two games.
The sophomore standout injured his left ankle on Sunday in a victory over Stony Brook and was questionable until tip-off on Thursday. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo decided he wasn’t going to push it and the fourth-ranked Spartans did just fine without their star, cruising to a 73-51 victory.
Whether he’ll play Friday against Connecticut or on Sunday against either North Carolina or Arkansas remains to be seen, but Izzo is feeling optimistic.
“I am hoping (he’ll play) and I think he probably wanted to play tonight,” Izzo said. “His ankle has definitely made some serious progress, but we’ll see how it is (Friday). I suited him up but I remember suiting up Mateen Cleaves at Wright State (in the 1999-2000 season) and him yelling at me I should play him and me yelling at him that I’m not gonna. Miles is more respectful than Mateen was and Miles didn’t yell at me, but I don’t think he was happy.”
Bridges missed seven games last season with a similar injury and Izzo made sure to play it safe then. He’ll do the same thing this time even with a potential matchup with No. 9 North Carolina looming.
But the Spartans face No. 13 Notre Dame at home next week and Izzo doesn’t want the injury to linger.
“It just didn’t feel right to me,” Izzo said. “They did a different tape job on him today and it hasn’t swollen up any as he was working out, so he’s got a better chance to go. Whether that’s (Friday) or Sunday, we’ll see.
“If this was NCAA time he’d be playing. I’m not downgrading this tournament because it’s a tournament we’d like to win, but we’ve got so many big games coming up I don’t want to do anything to make it linger.”