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Eilert Had Conversations with Jesse Edwards About Playing vs. Kansas



WVU Basketball Jesse Edwards

Jesse Edwards, WVU’s big man, warmed up and was dressed on Saturday before the Kansas game. Edwards ended up not participating in the game but did have conversations with interim HC Josh Eilert beforehand.

“We had some conversations, Jesse and I. I said what happens if we got two bigs in foul trouble, it’s a tie ballgame under five minutes. He’s like, coach I’ll do whatever it takes to win. I don’t know if he can be very effective with it but he’s a team guy. He’ll do anything for the team to a fault,” Eilert said after the win. “At the end of the day, I have to do what’s right by Jesse. Make sure we don’t set him back in terms of his career long-term. It’s a bigger picture thing with him.”

Edwards fractured his right wrist against UMass on Dec. 16 and has been out of action for the past month. WVU’s original timeline was approximately four weeks after his surgery. Edwards recently had his brace taken off and now has to get comfortable moving his wrist again.

“I think he’s a lot closer than I thought he was going to be. I didn’t know how the appointment was going to go and how the pictures [looked]. I didn’t know how that was going to come out,” Eilert said. “He got a good report but he was in a brace until then so he hadn’t had any movement.”

Eilert added that Edwards practiced on Friday, playing five-on-five but got uncomfortable when guarding players.

“He was raring to go and raring to try it out. He wants to do everything he can to help the team,” Eilert said. “[Edwards’ wrist] was a bit tender when he started guarding the guys so we backed off real quick to make sure we don’t set him backward. We want to make sure that we have him moving forward. We don’t need to have a setback.”

Edwards’ status for West Virginia’s game against UCF on Tuesday is unknown but it’s a good sign for the Mountaineers that the 6-foot-11 big is doing basketball activities again.

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