MSU's Miles Bridges taking recovery in baby steps

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Miles Bridges is closer to getting back on the court, but the Michigan State freshman isn’t about to push things too quickly and suffer a setback with his injured left ankle.

Miles Bridges, left, has remained on the Michigan State bench in walking boot while recovering from an injury.

After going through small workouts without the walking boot on his foot early this week, Bridges had it back on his left foot when he sat on the bench Wednesday in Michigan State’s victory over Oakland at the Breslin Center.

It was a precautionary move.

“We put the boot back on him just because our trainer was afraid that somebody would come over and step on his foot or something, seriously,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “But I think Monday they’ll check him out again and he’s making progress but it’s very slow yet. We’re getting him in the pool running. We got him running on an elliptical like thing, starting to put some weight on it and feeling decent. So your guess is as good as mine.

“I know one thing, Santa doesn’t have to stop at my house. He can go to Miles’ and give him a fix and I’ll be perfect.”

Fresh approach lifts Spartans over Oakland

Bridges said he’s getting better every day and admitted he’s had a hard time sitting and watching, something he’s done for the last five games.

“It’s really tough,” Bridges said. “I really wanted to play in this game. I mean, it’s our first game against a Michigan team and I’ve grown up watching Oakland play. Last year, it was a great game between them and I wanted to be a part of it.

“But it’s been hard ever since the second game I guess, watching them play, because I want to be out there enjoying it with them. But I’ll be back soon.”

Bridges last played against Duke on Nov. 29 and averaged 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds in the first eight games. Since then, he’s been sitting near the coaches on the bench and trying to soak up as much knowledge as he can.

“Just the stuff that coach sees, like a lot of unforced turnovers, costly mistakes that we could just make the easy play on,” Bridges said of what he’s learned. “I always like to make the home run play, but now I see how it affects the team or a run that we’re having.

“I’ve seen a lot of improvement with them, and once I come back, I should see the same thing and that will make us a better team.”