Alkins was held out of the last two games — and three of the last four — due to minor soreness in his previously-injured right foot.
Dylan Smith was announced as the starter at small forward, so Alkins will come off the bench Wednesday.
Alkins worked out last Saturday before Arizona played Utah, reported no soreness, and was subsequently cleared to practice Monday when head coach Sean Miller alluded that Alkins would play Wednesday so long as he could get through two days of practice without any setbacks.
Apparently there were no setbacks, though it is unlikely Alkins will have a normal workload Wednesday. But just having him out there minimizes UA’s chance of losing to the Cougars.
The Wildcats are 9-1 with Alkins in the lineup, and Miller still thinks the best is yet to come for him and this Arizona squad, which has won six straight and 15 of their last 16.
Alkins, who missed the first nine games of the season after breaking his foot in September, is averaging a career-high 14.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this year.
“In fairness to him, he’s had some really good moments while he’s played, but he hasn’t been able to get into that consistent routine,” Miller said.
“I do know that, especially in his case, him playing at his very best takes our team to another level because his very best encompasses a lot of different things. Offensive rebounding, a bigger wing, defending the other team’s perimeter players, passes the ball exceptionally well, another guy who’s capable of having a big night scoring. So his versatility is a big part of our team.”
Wednesday’s showdown is set for 8 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Networks.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire