"I'm playing Sunday."
With those words, Wisconsin senior point guard Traevon Jackson announced that he will be attempting to come back from his fractured right foot against Michigan State on Sunday. Speaking with the media for the first time since the injury, Jackson sounded confident that he'll be ready to take the court at the Kohl Center for the last time on Senior Day.
"I believe I'm fully healed," Jackson said, according to the video above from Madison.com. "I truly believe that. The process has been great. I've done all I've needed to do. The bone is feeling great."
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All of this must be taken with a grain of salt the size of a basketball, however, because no clearance has been given to Jackson to even resume basketball activities yet, according to the UW medical staff. Jackson is still in a walking boot, but will travel with the team to College Park on Tuesday when the Badgers their toughest road challenge of the year against Maryland.
If you'll remember back to football season, fullback Derek Watt suffered the same injury and was out for eight weeks. It typically takes six to eight for a fracture of this type to heal, and Sunday's game against Michigan State would mark exactly seven weeks since Jackson landed on Myles Mack's foot at Rutgers.
Since no official word on Jackson has been given from the team, it is probably too early to speculate on what the playing situation will be in the Badger backcourt buuuuuuut let's do it anyways! The top-ranked offense in the nation, according to KenPom.com's efficiency numbers, hasn't missed a beat with Jackson out of the lineup thanks to the stellar play of sophomore Bronson Koenig. However, Bo Ryan is usually fiercely loyal to upperclassmen, and it's not like the Badgers' offense was struggling with Jackson at the helm.
Koenig seems to offer more on offense (better eFG% and True Shooting Percentage), while Jackson is considered the better defender (higher steal percentage and better knowledge of spacing). In actuality, Jackson will probably be eased back into the lineup when he's healthy, so as not to reaggravate the injury before the NCAA Tournament. Jackson's return does mean that Wisconsin's bench will have some added punch since either he or Koenig will be the sixth man.
No matter how much (if at all) Jackson plays on Sunday, it will be wonderful to see him honored with his extremely successful senior class. He deserves it.