Greg McDermott resorted to some NFL injury lingo in sizing up the playing status of Creighton guard Grant Gibbs for Friday's game against DePaul.
“I'd say he's somewhere between questionable and probable,'' McDermott said after Wednesday's practice. “It all depends on how the knee reacts the next couple of days.''
Gibbs has not played since Jan. 7, when he suffered a dislocated right knee in the Bluejays' 81-62 win at DePaul. Although he has been pointing to Friday's game to return to the court, Gibbs admitted he might have to use some common sense in deciding whether or not to play.
“I don't like thinking big picture; that's really not my thing,” Gibbs said. “But I might have to take that into consideration. There's a lot of basketball still to be played.”
Gibbs said he was encouraged by what he's been able to do in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. He has been able to participate in most of the team's drills, including some up-and-down-the-court scrimmaging.
And he said the knee has responded well to the activity.
“I still can't push off of it really well yet, but some of that is just getting back to trusting it,'' Gibbs said. “That's the case with any injury, but I think it's encouraging that I'm pretty much practicing full at this point.
“I think it's going to take a little while to get all the way back, but I think I could manage.”
Gibbs is wearing an elastic sleeve and a brace on his knee. He has battled tendinitis problems in his knees throughout his Creighton career. He also had been playing with a shoulder injury this season.
He said the severity of the current injury makes him a little more cautious even though he knows the clock is ticking on his final collegiate season.
“I've had enough injuries and been hurt enough to know that this one feels at little different,” he said. “I can't rush it, so we'll see.
“I'm itchy to get back playing with my teammates, but we've played well since I've been out. That changes the perspective a little bit. I know the level you have to be at in order to come back and play effectively.”
Creighton is 5-1 since Gibbs was injured. Junior Avery Dingman has been starting in his place, and the Bluejays have gotten step-up performances from him along with backup guards Devin Brooks and Isaiah Zierden.
Gibbs led the Bluejays in assists the past two seasons and was again the team leader prior to his injury. Creighton is leading the nation in assists, and his return would strengthen the Bluejays in that area.
McDermott said Gibbs probably practiced a little more Wednesday than he had Tuesday.
“We're trying to limit his time in live action,” the coach said.
If Gibbs does play in Friday's game, McDermott said, he would probably be limited to short stints on the court.
“Grant's been around long enough,'' McDermott said, “he'll tell me how long he can go.”
Creighton's athletic department is promoting Friday's game as “Lumberjack Night” in honor of senior Ethan Wragge, a Minnesota native who is adept at knocking down 3-point shots. Beards and foam axes will be given out, and fans are encouraged to dress like lumberjacks.
Gibbs chuckled when asked what kind of a night Creighton would hold if it wanted to honor him. After pausing to think about it a couple of seconds, Gibbs replied that his night should be sponsored by a medical firm.
“Or maybe Dr. Morrison's practice,” said Gibbs, referring to team orthopedist Dr. Michael Morrison. “I've spent a lot of hours there.”