The Wolverine

March 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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S enior captain Caris LeVert made it clear when he faced the media Feb. 15 at Crisler Center — he re- turned for a final season to play bas- ketball, not watch. So as frustrating as it may have been for fans to watch a LeVert-less Michi- gan team at times, it was more trou- bling for the player himself. From the time LeVert stepped on a foot in the Big Ten opener against Illinois Dec. 30 to the moment he finally stepped back onto the court a dozen games later, life proved difficult. The minute the lower-leg injury oc- curred, the fourth-year Wolverine — a potential first-round NBA Draft pick — knew something was wrong. "It was definitely a little scary when it happened," he admitted. "It was a bang-bang play, and I was sore af- ter the game. I wasn't too worried about it. I was just worried about how I could get better from it." Recovering took a while. First, he needed to heal from the injury itself, details of which are still being with- held. Second, LeVert faced a re-con- ditioning process and the challenge of getting back into rhythm, a process that's ongoing. He clearly wasn't 100 percent when he came back for 11 minutes of the first half against Purdue Feb. 13. Winded and a little "wobbly," in Beilein's words, LeVert didn't play in the second half. "It's a combination of things," Le-   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL Caris LeVert Working Towards Getting Back Up To Speed LeVert, who was sidelined for six weeks with a lower-leg injury, said he got winded and was a little sore after playing 11 minutes in the first half of U-M's 61-56 victory over Purdue Feb. 13. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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