Kyle Kelm could play Saturday

Two sources close to the situation confirmed to PantherU on Tuesday night that sophomore forward Kyle Kelm “could play” on Saturday against the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

In the few short days since Kelm injured his right shoulder in a loss at UNI, the Milwaukee Panthers forward has received daily treatments from university medical staff to help the healing process along.

Kelm is said to have responded well to the treatment, but Tuesday’s game against Wisconsin would have been cutting it too close on possible re-injury.  Kelm’s shoulder is immobilized most of the time in a sling, helping the injury subside.

The injury itself is a shoulder sprain, one that has taken players anywhere from one week to six weeks to heal depending on the severity of the sprain.  The good news for Kelm is that because he is shut down, there is no risk for re-injury and his shoulder is responding favorably to treatments.  The injury is not as bad as originally thought, as it looks to be just a first-degree shoulder sprain and not the second-degree sprain that was originally diagnosed.

Milwaukee’s starting power forward was really kicking it into gear this season.  In 29.1 minutes per game, Kelm is averaging 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.  He is shooting at a 56.7% clip and topped 50% from the field in six of ten games.  The last time he shot under 50% was at Michigan State, when he was 2-for-7 from the field in the 13-point loss.

The Panthers could choose to keep Kelm out regardless; the UNO team coming in is 4-7 but only 1-6 against D-I competition.  The Mavericks, like the Panthers, won at NIU and lost to Michigan State.  But that’s a pretty generic stat; the Huskies are putrid this year and Michigan State beat UNO 110-68.

Putting Kelm in prematurely could aggravate the injury, and we’ve learned that the coaches will not play him if the doctors do not give the go-ahead.  The medical staff is confident that Kelm’s injury will subside enough to give him full range of motion by Saturday.

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