The Wolverine

February 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MOVING ON MINUS MITCH Michigan Adjusts To Life Without Injured Big Man Mitch McGary T BY CHRIS BALAS he news came swiftly and hit the Michigan basketball fan base like a Graham Brown screen when head coach John Beilein announced sophomore big man and All-America candidate Mitch McGary would be out indefinitely due to a back injury. There had been at least some hope that the 6-10, 255-pound preseason All-American would return to his NCAA Tournament form in time for the Big Ten season, and he did show flashes during his short comeback: nine points, six rebounds and four steals in a 77‑70 loss at Iowa State, and 14 points and 12 boards in an 82-80 win over Florida State among them. Dec. 27, though, proved to be the day of reckoning for his relentless play — some would call it a reckless abandon — on the court. "My back problems have been a daily challenge ever since late August," McGary said. "We have worked hard rehabbing the injury, and I thought that everything was proceeding in the right direction until the last two weeks. I have con- Despite not being 100 percent healthy, McGary averaged 24.6 minutes, 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in eight games prior to being sidelined indefinitely by his back injury. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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