Missouri basketball coach Mike Anderson relieved J.T. Tiller's injury isn't more serious

Thursday, November 19, 2009 | 5:03 p.m. CST; updated 6:55 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 19, 2009
MU senior guard J.T. Tiller is helped up after sustaining an injury to his left foot during the Tigers' home opener against Tennessee-Martin on Tuesday. Tiller did not return to the game.

COLUMBIA — Missouri coach Mike Anderson said Thursday during his weekly press conference he was relieved to receive word that J.T. Tiller’s injury to his left foot wasn’t serious.

Tiller suffered a bone contusion to his left foot during Tuesday’s season-opening win against Tennessee-Martin and underwent an MRI that revealed no fracture. Tiller, who is wearing a walking cast on his foot until the weekend, was limping as he walked by the media room to the court for practice Tuesday.

“We’re certainly not happy that he got hurt, but at the same time, kind of relieved that we have an opportunity to cast it up and hopefully rest it, just kind of mend up, heal up, and get ready to play,” Anderson said.

Missouri announced Wednesday that the senior guard will not play in the Tigers’ next game Sunday against Texas-Pan American. Anderson said Tiller’s replacement in the starting lineup will probably be a game-time decision.

“You look at a guy like Marcus (Denmon), Miguel (Paul), it could be (Michael) Dixon. It could be any of those guys,” Anderson said. “I guess here in the next couple practices we’ll get a better feel. I’m not afraid to put any one of those guys (in the lineup).”

Anderson said he will know more about the outlook on Tiller’s foot this weekend, and he will confer with Pat Beckmann, Missouri’s associate director of sports medicine, to monitor the injury.

“There’s gonna be a little pain,” Anderson said. “The guy played with a broken wrist all year long (last season), so that tells you his makeup.”

Tiller’s backcourt partner Zaire Taylor said Tiller’s mood is the same as usual.

“If you couldn’t see, you wouldn’t know he was hurt. He’s the same guy. He’s happy, he’s talking,” Taylor said. “We don’t really talk too much about it. Our relationship, he’s gonna make a joke out of it anyways, so I’ll never get the real … nobody will ever get the real information from J.T. if it has to do with pain or hurting.”

English “pressing”: Kim English was shaken up after hitting his head on the floor during Tuesday’s game, and his shooting woes continued, before and after the incident.

English, who developed into a sharp-shooter last year, shot 1-for-9 from the field and 0-for-5 from 3-point range Tuesday.

“We’ll find out (how he’s doing)," Anderson said. "I told him yesterday he needs to get away, just get away from everything, hopefully let the cobwebs kind of get out. He got popped pretty good.”

English became known last year for sleeping at Mizzou Arena on occasion so he could get in as many shots as possible, so it’s not unreasonable to think he’s frustrated by his early-season struggles.

“He’s pressing, that’s all,” Anderson said. “Sometimes you want to do something so bad, and you work so hard, and you want to showcase that. That’s youth, that’s all that is.”

Favorite quote: Anderson on what he wants to see out of his team on Sunday: “Clean it up, that’s what I call it. Like an artist throwing paint on the canvas, man.”

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bradley smith November 20, 2009 | 9:39 a.m.

Hope he is better come next Friday.

We are going to need everyone vs a strong Old Dominion squad.

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