Ducks

Oregon guard Will Richardson cleared to play coming off thumb injury

Ducks

The Oregon men’s basketball team is eager to retake the court after having to postpone the past three games due to COVID-19 protocols.

When the team finally gets cleared to play once again, a familiar face will be there as well: Will Richardson. 

The junior point guard - who coming into this season was going to run the show with Payton Pritchard now in the NBA - underwent successful thump surgery after injuring his shooting thumb at practice back in early December.

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Back then, it was predicted that Richardson would miss approximately six weeks and return sometime in mid-late January.

Now, it sounds like the junior guard is healthy once again.

On Tuesday, Oregon head coach Dana Altman joined NBC Sports Northwest and host Jordan Kent on the latest Talkin’ Ducks to discuss more on Richardson’s status:

“Will did get cleared by the doctors. I am hoping he’ll get a little practice in today,” said Altman. “But he hasn’t been on the floor since November 30… Will kept himself in shape. He could run obviously with the thumb so I don’t think his legs are real bad. But getting him to where he feels comfortable going into a game, I am going to leave that decision to him…

 

We’ll let him decide when he thinks he’s ready. He could play this weekend since the doctor has cleared him or it could be next week against Arizona. It might even be the following week, but whenever he’s ready to go, we’re going to put him out there.

Oregon men's basketball coach Dana Altman

Richardson was the most experienced Duck on this roster coming into this season, seeing action in 69 games. Last season, the 6’5” guard averaged 11.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.4 minutes per game. He was one of the most-improved players in the entire conference. Richardson led the Pac-12 Conference in three-point field goal percentage last season (46.9 percent).

Both Richardson and senior Chris Duarte were named to the preseason All-Pac-12 First-Team.

This season without Richardson in the lineup, the Ducks are currently sitting third in the Pac-12 conference with a 9-3 overall record and 4-2 in the Pac-12. 

Up next for the Ducks is hosting the Washington schools starting with the Washington State Cougars (10-7, 3-7 Pac-12) on Thursday, February 4 at 8 p.m. (PT) at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon.