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Motum has ‘slim’ chance to play Monday

PULLMAN – There’s been plenty of ice. Lots of attention from the trainers, too. And when he sleeps, Washington State forward Brock Motum even puts a drawer beneath his mattress to help elevate his sprained right ankle in an attempt to reduce the swelling.

But will all that treatment be enough for Motum to play a basketball game Monday?

“I think there’s a chance,” coach Ken Bone said, “but a very slim chance.”

So the Cougars (18-16) may be without their leading scorer when they host Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Monday in the opening game of the College Basketball Invitational’s best-of-3 championship series.

Motum, who is averaging 18 points per game, injured his ankle 2 minutes into WSU’s 72-55 win over Oregon State in last week’s CBI semifinals. The injury occurred when he tried to jump while his right foot was on another player’s shoe, causing his ankle to bend.

He hasn’t practiced since and is using a walking boot and crutches.

“Pretty much every hour of the day, I’m just trying to heal it in some way,” Motum said.

The hope is that Motum will at least be ready to go by Wednesday, when the second game of the series will be played in Pittsburgh. Motum said the swelling has decreased considerably since the injury occurred, but that it still has a ways to go.

“I can’t speed the process up in any more way than I’m doing,” Motum said. “I think mainly the thing is time. I’m doing everything I can. It’s just going to be time until it gets better.”

Motum seemed to be in fine spirits when he spoke with reporters Saturday. Senior forward Abe Lodwick, who lives with Motum, said the junior star has been fairly upbeat.

“We’ve almost felt worse for him than he has for himself,” Lodwick said.

If Motum can’t play, Bone mentioned guard Mike Ladd and center Charlie Enquist as possible replacements in the starting lineup, as well as forward D.J. Shelton.

Motum said he wants to play “so bad. Playing Pittsburgh, a Big East team, at home? It’s a really good opportunity. I’ll try my best to get on the floor, but I can’t make any promises.”

WSU is already playing without senior guard Faisal Aden, who tore the ACL in his left knee early in the conference season.