UNLV Forward Mike Moser Returns to Practice

Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering a gruesome dislocated elbow just a little more than two weeks ago, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels junior forward Mike Moser returned to practice on Thursday, which begs to ask the question: will he be ready for UNLV’s big game against North Carolina Tar Heels this weekend?

“No way,” said Mosner, who spoke with Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun earlier today.

“He’s worked hard with his rehab and we’ll just see,” said UNLV coach Dave Rice, who’s remaining optimistic about the return of his reigning First Team All Mountain West forward. Prior to the elbow injury, Moser had been bothered by a hip flexor sprain, but was averaging 10.9 points and a then team-best 8.3 rebounds per game on the season. “He’s day-to-day. He’s got a ways to go to be in game shape.”

UNLV has won all five of the games they’ve played without Moser, with freshman Anthony Bennett averaging 20.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game over the stretch, looking like not only one of the best rookies, but one of the best players in the nation this season. Bennett’s also been aided by sophomore transfer (from the Pittsburgh Panthers) Khem Birch, who went for 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 blocks in their win over the Canisius Golden Griffins last Saturday.

It’s very encouraging for the Rebels to see Moser back in practice, and as much as the 20th ranked team in the nation might want to win against a huge name like UNC, they’d be better off not rushing the Portland, Oregon product back to the hardwood too quickly. At the time of his injury, Moser was expected to miss anywhere from a month to the rest of the season, so to have him back less than three weeks after suffering the injury has to be encouraging for a program who has their eyes set on March, and for good reason.

Don’t miss their showdown with the Tar Heels on Saturday, this is a team you want to keep tabs on.

For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth

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