It was the broken finger heard around the world, or at least, heard throughout Charlottesville. In Virginia's 52-47 win over Louisville on February 7, 2015, junior guard Justin Anderson broke a finger on his shooting hand, and team doctors said that he would likely be out for 4-6 weeks. Anderson was (and remains) leading the ACC in three-point shooting percentage at .484.
On Saturday, exactly four weeks from the injury, Virginia will face a rematch with that same Louisville team, and word comes out of Charlottesville tonight that Anderson could be back.
Daily Progress reporter Whitey Reid published a few tweets tonight during head coach Tony Bennett's weekly Coach's Corner radio show, which could be good news for the Hoos:
#UVa coach Tony Bennett says Justin Anderson's doctor's appt. today went well today and there is a chance he'll play Saturday at Louisville.— Whitelaw Reid (@WhiteysWorld365) March 4, 2015
Bennett says Anderson will now be allowed to partake in more game-related activities during practice, tho he's still wearing splint. #UVa— Whitelaw Reid (@WhiteysWorld365) March 4, 2015
Bennett says he expects Anderson to have rust in first game back, says he'll be smart with how he's used. #UVa— Whitelaw Reid (@WhiteysWorld365) March 4, 2015
As Bennett said, Anderson will likely need a little bit of time to shake off the rust, although it's been reported that he's at least been participating in a limited capacity during team practices, taking a few shots and mostly playing defense.
Though the Hoos have seemed to struggle a bit on the offensive end without Anderson, they've also won seven straight without the Wooden Award candidate, proving that the bench may be a little deeper than what some national pundits expected. Six of the seven were double-digit victories, including the last five straight.
For Virginia fans, assuming Anderson is able to play, expect to see him for fairly limited minutes, as it will be more important to get Anderson rested and adjusted for the ACC Tournament next week than to risk any re-injury for the Louisville game, given that Virginia has already clinched the regular season title.
Keep an eye out on the team dynamic when Anderson returns, and whether the team will "default" to Anderson as the primary scorer, or if some of the other guys will continue playing in their increased role.
Virginia and Louisville will tip off on Saturday in Louisville at 6:30 p.m., where both senior Wayne Blackshear and junior Montrezl Harrell will be honored as a part of Louisville's Senior Night festivities.
In the meantime, I don't want to make any promises, but I'm just going to leave Anderson's signature alleyoop, against Louisville, here for your entertainment.