Despite initial rumblings that he may be forced to miss the rest of the season, Michigan redshirt sophomore Jon Horford could still avoid having surgery on his left knee in the coming days according to a report by Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
The 6'10 forward landed awkwardly on his left knee during a defensive possession in Saturday's win, and immediately fell down to the floor in a significant amount of pain. Although Horford already came into the season after dealing with a previous injury in the same knee during the fall, Michigan head coach John Beilein told reporters Wednesday that he is still hopeful to have his young shot-blocker back on the court again this season.
"I have not heard (surgery) mentioned," Beilein said. "I think the lack of news is good news. We're waiting for some things, but we're very hopeful and optimistic that he can return healthy as a horse."
Horford has played sparingly this season in Beilein's rotation, but was starting to see an expanded role over his last three games before suffering the injury. The younger brother of NBA All-Star Al Horford, Jon has yet to fully realize his potential while in Ann Arbor due to his inability to avoid the injury bug. Beilein did not specifically mention an estimated return date for the Grand Ledge native, and cautions that he won't be able to fully diagnose the injury until the swelling subsides.
"There's a very vague timeline; I don't think we'll know until the swelling is all down. In what we've seen so far, we're very hopeful he can return."
The Wolverines are surprisingly deep at the forward position this year, but Horford is widely believed to be the team's best shot-blocking presence. Even though it's premature to say that surgery won't be an option, Beilein's optimism about the injury is definitely promising sign.