Collin Gillespie, Villanova’s All-America point guard, has been cleared to take part in all basketball activities almost six months after suffering a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Wildcats coach Jay Wright said Tuesday.
Gillespie, who elected to take a fifth season as allowed by the NCAA during the pandemic, suffered the injury on March 3 against Creighton at Finneran Pavilion.
“Everybody’s back 100%, Collin included,” Wright said in a Zoom call with reporters.
Wright, who was away for 37 days in July and early August serving as an assistant coach on the Olympic gold medal-winning USA men’s basketball team, noted it was a pretty active offseason for injuries and illness.
Two returning starters, forward Jermaine Samuels and guard Caleb Daniels, are back. Samuels underwent surgery for a broken finger that he hurt during the season. Daniels, who contracted COVID-19 last January, struggled with lingering issues earlier in the summer.
“He’s completely cleared but he missed the summer,” Wright said of Daniels. “He was here but he wasn’t cleared to play, and then he got cleared right at the end of July. He’s completely fine, completely cleared and back at it but we had him out.”
Wright said starting guard Justin Moore suffered a concussion in an automobile accident and was sidelined for three weeks. Brandon Slater, who also was involved in the accident, missed one week with a concussion.
Freshman guard Angelo Brizzi had his tonsils removed after missing time with “complications with his adenoids,” the coach said.
The only question mark for the Wildcats’ start of preseason practice on Sept. 28 is fifth-year senior forward Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, who missed the entire 2020-21 season with a tibial stress fracture in his left shin that required another surgery.
Wright said Cosby-Roundtree is still “progressing slowly, still not at 100%,” and said a decision on whether he will play may be made by the time practice begins.
“We’ve got to include in the fact that he’s been out for so long,” Wright said. “If he’s going to come back, how long is it going to really take for him to be effective. If it’s going to take all the way till January, do we waste a year on him doing that? So we’re going to try to make some type of decision. I hope I can. You can say I’m swaying a little bit here, but I really want to do it by then.”