Monday, January 5, 2009

Pack's Ferguson returns, might play at Clemson

Guard Trevor Ferguson, who has missed the past three games with a broken left hand, is returning to practice today and might play in N.C. State’s next game Saturday at Clemson, Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe said Monday.

The left hand is Ferguson’s non-shooting hand, and he will wear a pad to protect it.

“We’ll have to see how it feels tomorrow and then how comfortable he is with that pad in terms of handling the ball, shooting the ball,” Lowe said during Monday’s ACC coaches teleconference.

Despite the three-game absence, Ferguson remains tied for N.C. State’s lead in 3-pointers made with 17. He is averaging 7.9 points per game.

Lowe said having a week between Saturday’s loss at Florida and the Clemson game will help his banged-up team get healthy. Point guard Javi Gonzalez didn’t play at Florida because Lowe didn’t think he was ready after practicing just once since returning from an ankle injury.

Wing Courtney Fells also has been struggling with an ankle injury. He played at Florida, but was listed as a game-day decision before the game.

“We need all of our pieces,” Lowe said. “We need all of our guys. We need Trevor back. We need Javi back, and certainly the teams we’re playing against and the way we would like to play, we need to keep fresh bodies. Having those guys in there certainly would help us.”

Fells will move from shooting guard back to small forward when Ferguson is ready to rejoin the starting lineup, Lowe said. During Ferguson’s absence Fells has played in the backcourt, with Dennis Horner replacing him at small forward.

– Ken Tysiac