MEMPHIS - As the University of Memphis ran sprints Tuesday to close out its first practice in preparation for Friday's road game at rival Tennessee, junior forward Tarik Black was doing push-ups on the sideline.
Unable to run full speed because of a groin injury that's kept him out of Memphis's last two games, Black did conditioning work Tuesday while his teammates prepared for the Vols (8-3), who have won five of their last six against the Tigers (9-3) in Knoxville.
On Saturday, it had appeared Black, the team's second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder, might be close to returning. Though he was clearly slowed by the injury, which he suffered last week in practice, he was a full participant in Saturday's practice before being held out of the Tigers' 78-64 win Sunday over Loyola (Md.).
Coach Josh Pastner said after practice Tuesday the plan is to have Black see team doctors Wednesday morning to "double- and triple-check" that the injury is just a strain and not a pull. If X-rays are negative, Pastner said that he expects Black will return by the Tigers home game next Wednesday against ECU.
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