Plane-crash survivor Hatch cleared to practice

Michigan basketball recruit Austin Hatch has been cleared to return to practice, more than a year after suffering severe injuries in a plane crash.

Hatch originally was scheduled to start attending Michigan in fall 2013, but everything changed in June 2011.

Hatch was the only survivor of a small-plane crash that killed his father and stepmother. He was kept in a medically induced coma for several weeks after the crash because of swelling in his brain, and he has dealt with a long recovery period.

Because of the injuries, he missed what should have been his junior year at Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., and now will graduate in 2014. He was given an extra year of eligibility by the Indiana High School Athletic Association, so he will be playing as a junior this season.

Hatch and the Wolverines agreed that he would retain his scholarship offer, and he’s now scheduled to join the Wolverines for the 2014-15 season.

A family spokesperson released a statement saying that Hatch has been conditionally released to join his team as it starts practice Monday.

The statement also said that Hatch is still limited to certain drills, and that the family has requested that he not be approached for interviews.

It’s unclear if Hatch will play this season, according to an report. A family representative told, “We’re taking each day as it comes. He’s making great progress, but we’re not looking any further than today.”