Maryland senior Dez Wells is expected to to be medically cleared and return to practice Dec. 26, Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon said Monday.
Wells has missed the past three weeks after fracturing his right wrist in Maryland’s win over Iowa State on Nov. 25. He had surgery three days later and was given a four-week recovery timeline. His cast was removed last week. Turgeon said last week the team would remain cautious about Wells’s return, adding that his recovery is “more about the ligament than it is the bone” in Wells’s shooting wrist.
Wells’s prospective return, which will mark the fourth week since his surgery, indicates the star forward will not be ready for Sunday’s game at Oklahoma State but would arrive prior to Maryland’s Big Ten opener at Michigan State on Dec. 30.
No. 19 Maryland (10-1) has gone 5-1 without Wells, including wins over North Carolina Central and USC Upstate last week. The absence of the team’s star has been glaring at times over the past three weeks, including in the loss to Virginia earlier this month, when the team missed the senior’s physical presence and perimeter defense. Wells averaged 16.2 points and 4.8 rebounds through the first five games of the season, and he’s making 60 percent of his three-point attempts this season).
Maryland is also dealing with the recovery of senior forward Evan Smotrycz, who has missed eight games this season because of a broken left foot. He missed the first five games before attempting to come back, only to suffer another setback after tweaking his left foot and ankle against VMI on Nov. 30. That forced him to miss another three games before returning last Saturday against USC Upstate, where he scored 10 points and added six rebounds in 18 minutes of play. Turgeon said after the game that it could take another month until Smotrycz is playing at his usual capacity.