Valentine may return to Michigan State lineup Sunday
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Senior guard Denzel Valentine participated in pregame warmups Thursday and might play for Michigan State at Penn State on Sunday, nearly three weeks after having surgery on his left knee.
"Could've played, wanted to play, but he wasn't quite there yet," coach Tom Izzo said following a 79-54 victory over Illinois.
Valentine practiced Wednesday night, moving closer to playing in a game. His replacement in the lineup, Bryn Forbes, scored 17 points against the Illini. Forbes made more than half of his 13 shots, connected on three 3-pointers, and had three assists, one rebound, one steal and one turnover.
"I didn't think Bryn had his best game," Izzo lamented. "He has been playing a lot better defensively."
The Spartans (15-1, 2-1 Big Ten) missed Valentine for a fourth straight game.
"I don't want to get out there until I'm completely 100 percent," he said. "I'm about 90, 95 (percent healthy). I may play Sunday. I may play next week, but it's getting close."