Duke junior center Marques Bolden did not play in the ACC Tournament after injuring his knee in the regular season finale. If the latest news is any indication, he isn’t far away from returning.
According to Steve Wiseman of The News & Observer, Bolden practiced with the team today. It is unclear how much Bolden was able to do, but just having him out there is a major plus.
Bolden sprained his left knee in the first minute of the final regular season game at UNC. He did not participate in any of Duke’s three ACC Tournament games.
The Blue Devils are set to open up NCAA Tournament play on Friday night. Per Wiseman, Bolden “isn’t far enough in his rehabilitation for Duke to make a definitive decision on his availability for Friday’s game.”
Duke's band is closer to getting back together as Marques Bolden's recovery from a sprained knee is going well https://t.co/boRS5FBc1N
— Stephen Wiseman (@stevewisemanNC) March 19, 2019
According to the Duke Chronicle, Bolden’s classmate and fellow big man Javin DeLaurier further hinted that the 6-foot-11 junior will be back soon.
"Ques is coming back now, which is good—I'll be able to get a breather now a little more frequently."
Javin DeLaurier hinted earlier this afternoon that junior big man Marques Bolden is close to being back for the NCAA tournament. pic.twitter.com/xmqQKZze97
— Duke Basketball (@dukebasketball) March 19, 2019
Getting Bolden back would be a major boost for Duke’s interior defense. In 31 games this season (21 starts), Bolden led the Blue Devils with 55 blocked shots while averaging 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
Duke is the No. 1 overall seed in this year’s Big Dance, and the betting favorite to win the national title.