Wisconsin's Josh Gasser cleared to play in exhibition games
MADISON—Relaxing in the Kohl Center media room last March, Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser tried to project when he might be healthy enough to return to the team.
His goal was to be cleared to participate in full-contact work in October.
Gasser, who missed last season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, is ahead of schedule. UW coach Bo Ryan announced Sunday that Gasser has been cleared to play during UW's five-game, eight-day exhibition tour in Canada, which begins Wednesday in Ottawa.
Ryan hopes he can get Gasser, who will be a redshirt junior, eight to 12 minutes a game.
“If we could get that it would be great,” Ryan said after practice Sunday. “He practiced some today, but not total.”
Gasser, who damaged the lateral collateral ligament and meniscus as well as the ACL, began practicing about two weeks ago. He acknowledged his game was rusty and he was a bit tentative initially.
“I didn't really have an exact set date other than the first day of practice,” said Gasser, who will wear a brace on his knee. “So for me to be able to go out there and play a little bit and be able to run up and down with these guys a few minutes here and there is going to be great.”
Gasser was set to be UW's point guard last season until he suffered the knee injury. Traevon Jackson eventually took over that role with George Marshall as the backup.
Because UW has more experienced backcourt players and must replace three senior starters in the frontcourt this season, Gasser understands his role may be varied. He acknowledged he envisions playing both backcourt spots, small forward and even power forward.
“I would love to play point,” he said. “I think I'm going to play point a little bit. … I don't really know yet. My main goal is to get out there and play and help our team. I don't care what position I'm playing.
“I could see myself playing one through four essentially. I've got to be able to do all those things. I love having the ball in my hands and being able to run the offense, but at the same time we've got a lot of other guys who could do that, too.
“I don't even know if we'll have a set guy as our point guard. We could have multiple guys doing it, and I think that is a benefit to our team.”