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Kylan Boswell ‘has come a long way’ from foot surgery, still awaiting full clearance to practice

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Arizona held its preseason Media Day on Tuesday, with reporters able to stick around and watch the first portion of practice.

In that open session the Wildcats did a lot of running and passing, as expected from a team that played at the ninth-fastest pace in the country last season and led the nation with a school-record 726 assists. They also spent a lot of time working on drills meant to improve their toughness, a direct response to how they were pushed around in the NCAA Tournament by TCU and Houston.

But not everyone was involved in these drills. As his teammates were banging around in the post, or sprinting up and down the court to simulate transition scenarios, Kylan Boswell was stuck on the sideline. Instead of running a set, he was relegated to running in place, or hopping up and down on one foot, under the watchful eye of trainer Justin Kokoskie.

It’s where he’s been for most of his time with Arizona, the product of him coming back from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot.

“He hasn’t been cleared yet, but he’s doing great,” UA coach Tommy Lloyd said of Boswell, a 17-year-old point guard who reclassified from the 2023 recruiting class in order to rehab with Arizona. “He’s really come a long way in the last month or two. I don’t think he’s far off.”

Boswell said he’s able to participate in some live-action activities, but as for when he’ll be allowed to “do all out” is uncertain. Pain tolerance and recovery are the key elements, but no timeframe has been set.

For now, it means having to be patient, and watch more than act. Not ideal, Boswell said.

“I hate watching practice and not being able to go full out, but this is for the long run,” he said. “I definitely have been learning the plays, learning his system more, learning how he likes to let people do certain things, stuff like that. I’ve definitely learned a lot just watching the practices.”

Boswell said he often sticks around after practice to work with assistant coach Jack Murphy, who will run him through some of the plays in a more controlled environment.

“I have been getting into some of the live action stuff, so it’s nice to get some reps of actually doing stuff with it,” he said.

Over the summer, Lloyd made it seem like Boswell might not be available until the bulk of the Pac-12 schedule begins in late December. Yet he’s dealing with almost the same injury that wing Pelle Larsson suffered last summer, and he managed to play 13 minutes in the 2021-22 season opener.

“It’s the same injury, but the situation for me kind of was different,” Larsson said. “He’s coming a year early out of high school, and for me it was my second year in college. It’s a little bit different. For him, he needs to stay patient. I know it’s hard. I wasn’t patient. I was trying to get on court every day and so is he.”

Boswell said he and his parents briefly discussed the idea of redshirting his first season, but nixed that idea. Since then he’s been focused on getting back into action, creating a dream board that has all of his goals for 2022-23.

“I just kind of basically am thinking about being healthy and being able to be productive for this team in any kind of way possible, whether it’s my defense, scoring, being a leader for the other guys, he said. “Really the main goal is just getting healthy and then just starting to feel better.”