Anderson two weeks away from return, pending medical clearance

Sophomore Juan Anderson has been limited this summer due to shoulder surgery, but may only be two weeks away from return. (Marquette Tribune Photo)

A few days removed from the completion of his freshman year at Marquette, Oakland, Calif., native Juan Anderson underwent shoulder surgery after injuring his right shoulder in an open-gym session. The sophomore forward was given a six-month timeline for his return, slotting him to be back on the court around the end of October.

After five months of rehab and individual workouts, Anderson says he is about two weeks from getting back on the court, pending doctor approval.

“It’s doing pretty well,” Anderson said of his shoulder. “I’m rehabbing real well. In the next few weeks I’ll be ready to come back .”

Anderson currently has full mobility in his injured shoulder, but the strength is still not there to clear him for full contact scrimmages.

“I have just been doing a lot of strengthening exercises, still getting used to the weight room again in terms of anything around my shoulder,” Anderson noted. “But I have been doing pretty much everything the guys have been doing, as of lately.

“Right now I’m playing catch-up, but I’m almost there. No contact at this point, I’m waiting to be cleared for contact.”

Anderson has been playing catch-up since the start of his Marquette career, missing the first three games of the season last year after being suspended for accepting a Brewers playoff ticket in the fall.

Ranked No. 61 by coming out of Castro Valley High School, Anderson was further set back in his progress last season after suffering a shoulder fracture in December, causing him to miss a game.

Yet, he has kept his positive attitude and has used the injury to rebuild his shot after averaging 0.8 points per game last season.

“I had to teach myself how to shoot again. It’s much better than it was before,” Anderson said. “I’m shooting the ball a lot better than I was before I had surgery.”

Coach Buzz Williams has liked what he has seen so far from the sophomore, telling Jon Rothstein: “Through eight individual workouts, he’s looked like a good player. He could be in the mix.”

Despite the confidence in his renewed shot, Anderson is going into the season with an open mind, aware that he is behind his teammates from a physicality standpoint at this point in time.

“I’m trying to help my team in whatever way I can. Nothing too particular, just trying to be positive and be a spark to my teammates.”

One of those teammates who has made an impression on the sophomore is junior guard Vander Blue. According to Anderson, the Madison native has been locked in the gym, looking to improve on his shooting percentage, 40.5 on 2-pointers and 21.4 from 3-point-land

“He’s really improved. His jump shot in particular has really improved,” Anderson said. “He’s been working every day and every night, putting a lot of work in in terms of his jump shot.”

At the end of the day, Anderson is looking forward to continuing his healing process and getting back on the court without restrictions. He has been putting in the work to strengthen his shoulder and should be cleared in the coming weeks.

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