DURHAM, N.C. -- The Maryland Terrapins may have gotten a big nugget of good news from Saturday's crushing 101-81 loss to Duke: Their star might be coming back early.
Junior guard Walt Williams said he might be ready to play as early as Wednesday night's home game against Georgia Tech, as his progress from the broken right fibula he suffered in the Duke meeting last month has been faster than expected.
"I could [play this week]," said Williams. "It all depends on how I feel. I'm making progress."
Williams was kicked in the shin in a freak collision with teammate Cedric Lewis in the first half of the Jan. 12 loss at Cole Field House and broke the non-weight bearing bone in his leg.
The 6-foot-8 Temple Hills junior had been expected to miss at least four weeks of playing time, with a longer absence probable, given the time needed to rehabilitate and get back into playing shape.
That could have kept him out of the rest of Maryland's season, which ends March 2 at Virginia.
But Williams was moved out of his walking cast and into a walking boot two weeks after the injury and was allowed to ride a bike and swim sooner than was expected.
He recently returned to light drills and sprints and thinks he is getting closer to playing.
"I feel that I'm making progress," said Williams. "[Last] Tuesday, I couldn't jog. Wednesday, I couldn't run, but by Thursday and Friday, I was running, so it's coming along."
Maryland coach Gary Williams said he will leave the decision to return to his star guard, but he will sit him down if he experiences pain.
"Walt's the guy who's going to tell me when he's ready," said Gary Williams. "But if he's limping a lot, then I'll pull him.
"He's got a future and we're not going to jeopardize it. He'll figure out when he's not hurting."
Walt Williams said he has been encouraged with the care and concern shown him by the coaching staff. The junior said no one has pressured him to return, despite the team's three-game losing streak.
"That makes me feel real good that they haven't rushed me to come back too soon," said Williams. "That tells me that they care about me."