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Arizona optimistic after Justin Coleman aggravates shoulder injury

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Coleman aggravated his left shoulder injury late in Wednesday’s win against the Stanford Cardinal, but Arizona Wildcats assistant coach Justin Gainey expressed optimism that the senior point guard will play Saturday against the California Golden Bears.

“It’s good that we have that extra day here in the Bay to let him rest and recover, but I think he’s going to be OK,” Gainey said after the game on AM 1290.

Coleman, who dislocated his left shoulder last Monday and has been playing through the pain, landed on his left arm late in the second half after taking a hard foul as the Wildcats were trying to run out the clock.

Coleman pounded the court after tumbling to the floor, then walked gingerly to the bench where he took a seat in obvious discomfort. Cameras showed Coleman with his head bowed and left arm pinned against his body as he was being examined by UA trainer Justin Kokoskie.

Ira Lee took the resulting free throws in Coleman’s place, making both.

Coleman would later return to the game to inbound the ball, but did not lift his left shoulder, firing a one-handed pass to Brandon Randolph, who sank two free throws to ice the game. Arizona improved to 12-4 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-12, picking up its 18th straight win over Stanford.

Before the injury, Coleman tallied nine points and four assists on 3-of-8 shooting, playing with newfound aggression.

UA head coach Sean Miller said earlier in the week that Coleman was not at further risk by playing through his shoulder injury, and hoped the senior would be closer to full strength against the Bay Area schools.

Coleman played a season-high 39 minutes on Wednesday after playing 32 last Saturday against Utah. Should Coleman miss any time, the Wildcats would likely move Brandon Williams to point guard and Alex Barcello into the rotation as his backup.