Air Force senior forward Taylor Stewart is out of a walking boot, running some, and could return this season.
Falcons coach Dave Pilipovich said Stewart, Air Force’s only senior starter, is “getting closer” to a return from a broken fibula.
“Probably he best case scenario would be the last week, maybe the last game, to dress,” Pilipovich said.
Pilipovich said the training staff needs to see Stewart practice for a full week before he can dress for a game. That probably means he is unlikely to play on Feb. 29 at New Mexico, but the March 3 contest against Colorado State – which will be Senior Night – is not out of the question.
And with Stewart coming along well, Pilipovich expressed optimism about Stewart’s chances of playing in the Mountain West conference tournament. Air Force’s first men’s game at the conference tournament will be March 8.
“It would be a neat thing for him,” Pilipovich said. “How much can he give you, you don’t know. That’s going to be up to the rehab and how quickly he comes back. But having him there would be great for him.”
Center Taylor Broekhuis won’t miss any games, but he’ll have to get used to playing with a mask to protect his broken nose. He had a mask on hand, having broken his nose previously in his career, but that doesn’t solve everything, as shown when he went down in pain on the first play of the San Diego State game.
“The bad part of the mask is, wherever the mask is hit, it’s going to hit the nose,” Pilipovich said. “Then you can go without the mask, and the problem with that is if you get hit in the nose it’s going to hurt more.”
Pilipovich said the Falcons will limit Broekhuis in practice Monday to prevent him from getting hit. The injury doesn’t affect his breathing, which is positive.
“It’s just a pain tolerance,” Pilipovich said.