University of Alabama freshman guard Collin Sexton, who missed the Crimson Tide’s first game against Mississippi State in January will be back in the starting lineup when the two teams meet in Starkville on Tuesday night. But Alabama coach Avery Johnson said the abdominal injury that caused Sexton to miss two games and a major portion of a third before his return for the Oklahoma game was still being treated and that Sexton would “probably be managing (the injury) all year.”
“It’s been my experience in dealing with abdominal injuries that you don’t get back to 100 percent until you are able to rest it for four to six weeks after the season.”
Johnson did note that Sexton was “improving”with time in managing the injury.
The 6-foot-2 freshman is coming off one of his better games of the year in Alabama’s 68-50 win at Florida last Saturday. Sexton had 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals with just two turnovers in 31 minutes of playing time in Gainesville.
Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said at his Monday press conference that MSU sophomore point guard Lamar Peters would draw the primary assignment of guarding Sexton.
In another injury update, Crimson Tide forward Donta Hall, who scored 14 points and had 11 rebounds against Florida, said his broken right wrist was now “85 or 90 percent.” Hall said the wrist, which was broken on January 9, had much less soreness than it had after his surgery that week. He added, however, that he would wear a brace on the wrist for the rest of the season.
Both will be needed in a crucial road game for UA, which has been installed as a 3-point underdog by Las Vegas linemakers. Alabama remains in the NCAA Tournament field in virtually all bracket projections and has a No. 39 RPI ranking after the Florida win, but faces a tough stretch in its upcoming schedule, including MSU (15-1 at home this season) and No. 15 Tennessee this week.