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Moussa Diabate is one step closer to returning after practicing earlier this week

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The star freshman has been working through an illness.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines were without star freshman forward Moussa Diabate earlier this week at Nebraska, but they may be getting him back sooner rather than later.

A U-M spokesperson confirmed on Friday Diabate practiced earlier this week, a huge step in getting him back. The spokesperson would not say if he will play Saturday’s home contest against Minnesota.

After playing only seven minutes, Diabate left last Saturday’s home game against San Diego State due to an illness that was later described as a “non-covid” related. He never returned to the game and did not make the trip on Tuesday to Lincoln for the Nebraska game. Brandon Johns started in Diabate’s place against the Cornhuskers, going off for 20 points and five rebounds.

The sooner Diabate can come back, the better for Juwan Howard and company. Johns proved he can step up when needed, but having a versatile playmaker like Diabate back on the floor will only make the team better. It’s unclear exactly if he will play this weekend against Minnesota but if not, look for him to be back on the floor soon.

Diabate has been a huge part to Michigan’s 2021-22 team thus far. The freshman from France through eight games is averaging 7.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and one block per game. He played 31 minutes against North Carolina and went off for 13 points and three boards. He also put up 14 points against both Tarleton State and UNLV earlier this season.