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UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad dealing with a high ankle sprain

Jul 15, 2012, 9:34 PM EST

Shabazz Muhammad

According to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com UCLA freshman wing Shabazz Muhammad is still a week away from returning to the court after suffering a high ankle sprain.

UCLA head coach Ben Howland told Parrish that Muhammad, one of the top incoming freshmen in America, suffered the injury in a pickup game following the first workout that he took part in.

“It was our first workout,” Howland said in between games here at the Nike Global Challenge. “Actually, we were finished working out, and [the players] started playing five-on-five. He sprained his ankle playing then. He’s been out ever since.”

Muhammad is one of the four high-profile newcomers that the Bruins welcome to Westwood this season, with sharpshooter Jordan Adams, point forward Kyle Anderson and forward Tony Parker being the others.

Muhammad expected to be back soon is good news for UCLA, not only from the injury standpoint but also because of their August trip to China.

That’s valuable on-court time, from the ten practices they get before departing to the actual games in China, for the Bruins from a chemistry standpoint.

That should serve them well not only in Pac-12 play (fellow expected contender Arizona also has an off-season trip) but also with a non-conference slate that includes Missouri, Texas, San Diego State and the Legends Classic (Georgetown, Georgia and Indiana).

Of course Howland had no info in regards to possible eligibility concerns, simply stating that the compliance department is dealing with that.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.