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Malik Newman Not Expected to Play Major Minutes in Opener

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Ben Howland will ease his freshman point guard back into action.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

When the MSU basketball team takes the court Friday for its season opener against Eastern Washington, it may be without its best player for a large portion of the contest.

Fans are anxiously waiting to witness the debut of five-star point guard Malik Newman, and while they'll likely see him play, it might not be as long as they would like.

Coach Ben Howland told the media that Newman, who's been battling a turf toe injury for the last two weeks, won't be thrown into the fire to play major minutes just yet. He obviously wants to bring Newman back slowly, and smartly so because you definitely do not want a two-week injury turning into one that nags him for an entire season.

That means I.J. Ready will log the majority of the minutes at the point, and late in the game you may even see Quinndary Weatherspoon or Craig Sword.

I don't know what the basketball gods have against Mississippi State, or what is in the water at the hump, but it seems like the injury issues didn't leave when Rick Ray walked out the door.

Eight players underwent surgeries during the offseason. Most of those players are back to relatively good health by most accounts, but freshman forward Aric Holman will be out at least another month.

Hopefully Newman won't miss any extended period of time this year. While they have the depth in the front court to make up for an injury, that's the one guy you can't afford to lose.