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Arizona basketball: Dusan Ristic moves past ankle injury to start Pac-12 Tournament

The big man had trouble getting through his first ankle injury.

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament - Colorado vs Arizona Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

When the Arizona Wildcats traveled to Pullman to take on the Washington State Cougars in the middle of February, they were already without Kadeem Allen in that contest, and then lost Dusan Ristic just before halftime with what turned out to be a sprained ankle.

After missing the ensuing game against Washington, Ristic only recorded a total of ten rebounds and 17 points in Arizona’s final three regular season games.

Then the Pac-12 Tournament happened.

Ristic put up 15 points and eight rebounds against the Colorado Buffaloes, and was very encouraged with how he felt afterwards.

“I think today was the first day I felt comfortable with the pain,” Ristic said after Thursday night’s win. “Hopefully from this point on I’ll be better and better.”

Spraining an ankle was something that the seven-footer had never dealt with prior to these past few weeks.

“I’ve never had that type of injury before, and it slowed me down a few games,” Ristic admitted. “But now I would say I’m one hundred percent.”

“I had like a bone bruise and that was the actual pain,” he continued. “I had to go through the pain.”

Arizona’s center was also sporting some Kinesio tape on his right shoulder on Thursday, but that was because of an issue with the team’s accommodations in Vegas.

“I didn’t like the bed at the hotel,” he said while laughing. “So whenever I woke up I was in pain.”

This isn’t the first time someone of Ristic’s physical stature has had issues with hotel beds.

“It’s tough being a seven-footer because usually the beds are short for me, especially for me and Lauri (Markkanen),” he explained. “I just slept bad last night and that was the issue.”

We’ll see if the bed presents any more issues moving forward, or if Ristic will continue to build upon Thursday’s performance with a healthy ankle.