After missing most of the season with a foot fracture, Notre Dame star Bonzie Colson will return to the court Wednesday against Pittsburgh, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
"I was going to put him out there to start the game, even if the doctors didn't clear him, and foul right away just to see the place go crazy," head coach Mike Brey said. "Now I don't have to foul. He'll start, and I'm hoping he can play 20 minutes."
Wednesday is the last home game of the season for the Fighting Irish and Senior Night for six players on the roster, including Colson.
Any playing time for Colson would be a huge boost to Notre Dame, which has gone 6-9 without its star player. At 17-12 (7-9 in the ACC), the squad isn't quite out of the NCAA tournament picture, but it has a lot of work left to do.
Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller currently doesn't even have the team listed in his "First Five Out."
However, Colson is a difference-maker on the court when healthy. He is currently averaging 21.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.0 steals per game, which would be among the top five in the ACC in each category if he had enough games to qualify.
Before the season began, ESPN.com listed him as the No. 3 overall player in college basketball after averaging 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game as a junior.
Even if he is rusty, he should be able to get back into form against a Pittsburgh team trying to avoid a winless conference season, currently 0-17 in the ACC. Colson's contributions will be much more important in the ensuing game against No. 1 Virginia on Saturday.
Without many quality wins, Notre Dame will need a few upsets to get into the NCAA tournament, and Colson's return could go a long way.