Jun 26, 2012, 9:36 AM EDT
DJ Byrd is taxed with being one of just two seniors on Matt Painter’s 2012-13 Boilermaker team, so the earlier he can return from injury, the better.
The 6-5, 234-pound Indiana native has been sidelined with a mild stress fracture in his foot for the past two weeks, but he could return soon.
“We were able to catch it a couple of weeks ago, and he has been in a boot ever since,” Painter told JCOnline.com Monday morning. “He gets out of his boot (today). I expect him to be able practice soon. We’re just being cautious.”
Byrd averaged 8.9 points and 2.3 rebounds per game last season for a Purdue team that finished 22-13, including 10-8 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers advanced to the Round of 32 before being eliminated by national runner-up Kansas.
Other than Byrd, former walk-on Dru Anthrop will be the only returning senior for Purdue in 2012-13.
It may be unbelievable when written out, but the 2012-13 season will be the first time forward Robbie Hummel hasn’t been in the Purdue program since the 2006-07 season.
That means the Boilermakers will have to compensate for 16.3 points and 7.1 rebounds of lost production and will try to do so with the help of four newcomers from the Class of 2012.
Seven-footer AJ Hammons leads the group, a product of Oak Hill Academy (Va.), along with guards Raphael Davis and Ronnie Johnson, as well as 6-9 power forward Jay Simpson.
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