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Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie joins teammates for extended practice time ahead of WCC Tournament

UPDATED: Thu., March 7, 2019, 7:53 p.m.

Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie eyes the basket as San Francisco forward Remu Raitanen defends during a Feb. 7 game at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie eyes the basket as San Francisco forward Remu Raitanen defends during a Feb. 7 game at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Killian Tillie’s recovery took another step forward – actually a number of steps – on Thursday when he practiced with the team for extended minutes.

Gonzaga’s junior forward has been sidelined for a month after suffering a partially torn plantar fascia against San Francisco. Tillie went through pregame warm-ups in last week’s road wins over Pacific and Saint Mary’s.

“He went up and down with us,” coach Mark Few said. “I thought he looked pretty good. It’s all about how he feels now (going forward). This was the first time he had extended minutes practicing, jumping, sprinting, live 5-on-5. Now we have to see how it reacts.”

Tillie was voted the most outstanding player of the 2018 WCC Tournament after hitting 13 of 14 3-pointers and averaging 24 points in three wins. The 6-foot-10 forward has been limited to nine games this season, missing the first two months with a stress fracture in his right ankle.

Tillie said last Saturday he hoped to return for the WCC Tournament, which begins in Monday’s semifinals for the top-seeded Zags.

“I think it probably would be (helpful playing prior to the NCAA Tournament), but he’s also been in big games,” Few said. “It’s not his first rodeo. Myself, our players and the staff have all the confidence in the world throwing him into a game with five minutes left and it’s tied that he’ll be fine.”

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