Davis cleared to practice without restrictions

De’Ron Davis reached the latest checkpoint in his ongoing Achilles rehabilitation last week.

The Indiana junior center received clearance to participate in five-on-five full-court contact workouts, coach Archie Miller said on his weekly radio show, putting Davis in position to return in a limited role for the Hoosiers early this season.

“He has to play himself into shape, so to speak,” Miller said. “Hopefully by the end of Christmas, getting into conference play, he’s feeling better.”

Davis participated in practice for “two or three” days in a row last week, according to Miller, who said his big man is dealing with the expected soreness that comes with working his way back into action.

Getting cleared to practice in full-court, five-on-five work is the latest development for Davis, who was previously only able to participate in two-on-two and three-on-three half-court contact scenarios. He also worked his way back in limited five-on-five non-contact situations.

The next step is building Davis’ conditioning. Davis played approximately 10 minutes during Sunday’s scrimmage with Loyola Chicago, appearing only in short bursts while he finds his footing.

“We didn’t want to use him more than two minutes at a stretch and I think that will be the case as we keep building him,” Miller said. “He’s not having any pain with his previous injury, so that’s the good sign. Now it’s just trying to work him back because he gives you an added dimension, even if he’s in there for eight, 10, 12 minutes early. You can throw him the ball and he can get you a basket (and) get fouled. He’s a good passer. But the deal with him will be a slow build.”

It’s been a slow process all along for Davis, who injured his Achilles during a practice in early January.

Davis averaged 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds, while starting the first 15 games of last season.

“The thing that he’s dealing with is like anyone who’s coming back,” Miller said. “Your body is really sore. Not your injury, but your body is really sore. So we’re trying to find ways to just continue to get his conditioning better.”

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