After a long five-week, nine-game long period of prognoses, time frames, and rumors, it looks like the Isaiah Whitehead injury saga is about to come to a close.
Following Seton Hall's 80-70 win over Marquette on Wednesday night, Kevin Willard told Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin on 970 AM the following about Whitehead's status going into Seton Hall's home game against Xavier on Saturday. Whitehead was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot on Christmas Eve and hasn't seen the court since December 21st.
"We're going to get home tonight, then tomorrow me and him will work out, he sees the doctor in the morning. He's been working out over the last five days, his foot looks great. He's obviously not in great shape, he's not in bad shape, our trainer and strength coach are doing a great job with him.
"I'll put him through a pretty good workout tomorrow. He'll practice on Friday, it'll be a regular practice. I'll be careful with the minutes he gets in practice and then we'll seif e how the foot reacts and go from there."
When asked about if there are any limits to how much Whitehead would be able to play on Saturday, Willard said that's up to the star freshman.
"That's going to be up to him. He's a very smart kid, he understands everything that's going on. He won't be on a time limit for the foot, but I think he'll be on a time limit -- I have to make sure he doesn't pull a hamstring or something like that.
"If he reacts good to individual [workouts] and he reacts good to the practice, which I think he will because he's been reacting good to the running he's been doing, we'll get him out there. 4-4 without one of your best players, and you get him back, it's going to take him a couple games [...] I think he'll just add to what we're doing, I know I'll be excited and the team will be excited.
"He's been a great teammate this whole time, he's gotten a little frustrated over the last week or two that he's been out because once you start running, as a player you start thinking to yourself 'If I can run why can't I play?'
"I tried to explain to him, I'm always a little cautious with injuries but with him, he's going to be a pro one day and he's going to have a long career, you don't want to have foot injuries so you want to take care of it you want to do the right thing. Plus when I get him back, I want to have him for the rest of the year. I don't want to go five games with him, then all of a sudden we're starting to roll then all of a sudden you lose him again.
"I think everyone is going to be excited to get him out there and if he's ready to go, we'll put him out there, he's going to help us."