While Bonzie Colson did not participate fully in Wednesday’s 40-minute practice at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y., the Notre Dame junior forward said his injured right ankle is good to go for Thursday’s NCAA Tournament opener against Princeton.
“I want to go out and play regardless of if it’s hurt or not,” Colson said Wednesday. “…I’m ready to play. When it comes time for the tip, I’ll be out there.”
Colson moved around on the ankle — injured in the second half of Notre Dame’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament loss to Duke last Saturday — to open Wednesday’s open practice, doing some light shooting.
Head coach Mike Brey defined Colson’s injury as a “twist” Sunday, not a sprain. The 17th-year coach said Colson is actually a little ahead in his recovery, slowly getting healthy throughout the week.
The 6-foot-5 All-ACC first-teamer was in a walking boot for part of the week. He’s perhaps Notre Dame’s most important player as the Irish begin another NCAA Tournament.
His health is crucial for Thursday’s game against the Tigers and throughout the tournament. He’s Notre Dame’s leading scorer (17.5 ppg) and rebounder (10.2) and has flourished in the team’s four-guard lineup.
Colson said his treatment has included icing, mobility work and sessions with trainer Skip Meyer and chiropractor Dr. Jerry Hofferth.
“He's made great progress, doing a little bit more every day,” Brey said. “By noon tomorrow, he's one of those guys, he's such a warrior, that you tape him, you give him a couple Advil, and cut him loose.”
Colson declined to put a percentage on his health Wednesday, but said the ankle feels “a lot” better than in did immediately after it happened.
“I’m going to play regardless,” Colson said. “I’m 100 percent ready to play, ready to do everything I can to help the team win.”