IOWA CITY — Luka Garza may play in Iowa’s 2018-19 men’s basketball season-opener Nov. 8 against Missouri-Kansas City, but the only pressure on him to do so would come from himself.
The 6-foot-11 Hawkeye sophomore is on no set timetable to return to practicing after undergoing surgery in early September for a benign cyst in his abdomen.
“They said it was a 6-to-8-week recovery,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said last week, “and the first game would mark eight weeks. But we’re not pushing that date. You can’t push too hard. I don’t want him to come back too soon. Better to take it nice and slow.
“It was big, this growth in his abdomen. Think about it. You’re trying to run and jump and be in shape, lift. Now it’s no longer there and he won’t be putting pressure on any of his organs.
“He’s walking, he’s riding a (stationary) bike, he’s stand-still shooting. He’s got a smile on his face.”
McCaffery said he thought Garza would be able to start running this week. He’ll eventually ease his way into practice, with doctors’ permission.
Garza averaged 12.1 points and 6.4 rebounds as a freshman, and averaged 17.7 points and 60 percent shooting over the Hawkeyes’ final six games.
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