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Daily Brews: Jaelin Llewellyn discusses decision to return to Michigan

Llewellyn confirmed he’s only just begun getting back on the court after his ACL tear in December.

Virginia v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

In his first appearance before the media since early December, Michigan basketball guard Jaelin Llewellyn sat down with Brian Boesch of Learfield Sports and discussed a wide range of topics.

What certainly was of most interest to Wolverines fans was an update on Llewellyn’s injury status following a devastating ACL tear against the Kentucky Wildcats in the Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase. Based on Llewellyn’s comments, the mood can best be described as cautiously optimistic.

“I definitely think I am on my way to getting back out there,” Llewellyn said on the Defend the Block podcast. “I’ve just started to get back out on the court the past couple of weeks. Doing stuff — more athletic things. Just like leg raises and stuff I’ve been doing for the past couple of months since the surgery. It feels good to be moving more. It’s not that fast yet, but I’ll get there.

“Today, I had a lift at 10 and I went back and did some application work. Then I get shots up either before or after rehab. I’m doing something every day. I am on a five-day plan for rehab and then I get the weekends off. I still try to get some shots up and stuff like that.”

Based on the average time of recovery for ACL injuries, Llewellyn could potentially be back before the season begins in late October. However, his prior injury history — having already torn an Achilles in 2020 — has been difficult for the Princeton graduate transfer to ignore.

“It’s hard to go through this stuff mentally as well as physically,” Llewellyn said. “Going through it the first time, I was like, I am not sure I can go through this again. When it happens again, it’s hard to deal with mentally.”

Of course, whenever Llewellyn returns, the team he’ll return to will be vastly different than the one he was forced to be sidelined from. Not only does Michigan retain the services of freshman standout Dug McDaniel, the Wolverines also brought in a strong ball handler in transfer Caleb Love and a potential first-year contributor in George Washington III.

No matter where Llewellyn plays in the backcourt this season, he intends to make as big of a contribution as he can.

“I think I can be able to do both,” Llewellyn said. “At my previous school, we played through our five a lot and we did some Princeton offense stuff. A lot of it is off-ball movement, cutting and screening, getting open. I’m used to that type of offense.

“I just want to be able to get healthy, that’s the main goal. Getting out there in whatever capacity is needed from me to help the team.”