Knee injury still bothering UNLV’s Willis

When asked about his latest knee injury, UNLV guard Tre’Von Willis was left almost speechless. When he did start talking, he was short on answers.

Willis, the Rebels’ No. 2 scorer at 12.0 points per game, has been sidelined for five days with a sore right knee.

The senior is unsure if he can play when UNLV (14-4, 2-2 Mountain West Conference) hosts Colorado State (12-5, 2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I don’t even know what to say. Wednesday is 48 hours away,” Willis said after watching most of Monday’s practice. “I’m going to try to go.”

Rebels coach Lon Kruger, indicating Willis might be a game-time decision, said, “If he had to play now, I don’t think he could. He’ll probably be limited if he plays.”

Willis had minor surgery on the knee in early August. He was hurt Wednesday when center Brice Massamba landed on his knee in a collision near the end of UNLV’s loss at San Diego State.

Swelling in the knee is minimal, said Willis, who remained in Las Vegas to receive treatment while the Rebels went on the road and defeated Air Force 64-52 on Saturday.

“It’s kind of a minor setback to an already bum knee,” said Willis, who has played in 15 games and started seven. “I’ve had improvement these past couple days, staying home and getting treatment around the clock.”

Kruger replaced Willis in the starting lineup with sophomore guard Anthony Marshall. Even if Willis plays Wednesday, Kruger said he’s likely to start the same backcourt of Marshall, Oscar Bellfield and Derrick Jasper. After the Air Force game, Jasper said both knees have been bothering him.

“I think Derrick’s knees are always a little bit sore, and he kind of grinds through that,” Kruger said.

Junior forward Chace Stanback, UNLV’s leading scorer, was limited in Monday’s practice because of a sore back. Kruger said Stanback is “fine” and will start against Colorado State.

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907.

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