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Rawle Alkins (foot) unlikely to play in Bahamas, but is ‘making a lot of progress’

Sean Miller doesn’t think Alkins will need the full 12 weeks to recover

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

If you were in McKale Center early enough Thursday, you might have noticed Rawle Alkins shooting around — and dunking — without a boot on his foot.

About seven weeks ago, the sophomore guard broke his foot and the estimated timeline for recovery was eight to 12 weeks, but Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller is optimistic Alkins will return well before the 12th week.

“He’s working hard at rehab and we’re not going to rush him back,” Miller said after Arizona’s win over CSU Bakersfield, “but I do think he’s making a lot of progress.”

Miller was quick to dismiss the possibility that Alkins could return during the team’s trip to the Bahamas next week, but he hinted that Alkins will be ready to return soon after.

“Hopefully sometime after (returning from the Bahamas) he has the opportunity to play. We’d love to have him back,” Miller said. “I know he wants to get back.”

Alkins was a key contributor last season, averaging 10.9 points per game, shooting 46.3 percent from the field, as well as averaging 4.9 rebounds per game while being a solid defender.

Following the 2016-17 season, Alkins initially declared for the NBA Draft, but later opted to return for a second season in Tucson and was slated to start at small forward before getting injured.

His return will add even more depth to an Arizona team that’s already shown it can do plenty without him, and it doesn’t appear that moment is far off.

Follow Rob Leano on Twitter at @RobLeano1