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Jon Horford back tonight for Michigan?

Jan 9, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT

Jon Horfor

You have to feel bad for the way that Jon Horford’s career has played out at Michigan thus far.

Horford was thought to have a chance to be a breakout player for the Wolverines last season, but a broken bone in his foot forced him into a medical redshirt.

Then this season, after watching Jordan Morgan thrive last year and Mitch McGary join the rotation this season, Horford dislocated his kneecap when Michigan was in New York for the Preseason NIT. And while he’s only missed four games, Michigan has taken that opportunity to turn themselves into one of the nation’s most impressive teams, if not the most impressive.

According to a report from MLive.com, Horford could return as early as Wednesday night for Michigan:

“He practiced (Monday) and he’s going to practice (Tuesday),” Michigan coach John Beilein said Tuesday. “He’ll practice full-court, and we’ll see.

“He could (possibly) be (available for Nebraska on Wednesday).”

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound sophomore suffered a dislocated left kneecap during a win over West Virginia last month in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was in uniform for the first time since the injury Sunday when the Wolverines beat Iowa at home.

Though Horford didn’t play, he took part in the team’s warmups, wearing a large knee brace the whole time.

Here’s the frustrating part: Michigan has established that they are at their best when Glenn Robinson III is playing the four. Their front court rotation? Morgan and McGary — who has been playing much better as of late, sparking a run at the end of the first half against Iowa — splitting minutes. Beilein doesn’t need Horford. He’s a body. An insurance policy.

What would have happened had he stayed healthy?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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