Pitt redshirt senior point guard Sidy N’Dir returned to practice on Friday as the Panthers prepare to face No. 15 NC State on Saturday, and could make his return to the lineup against the Wolfpack, head coach Jeff Capel said.
N’Dir, who suffered a right leg injury in Pitt’s win over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 15, was originally expected to miss four to six weeks, but returned to practice just before the end of the fourth week. He missed four games with the injury.
“We’ll evaluate him to see how he feels after practice later on [Friday night],” Capel said. “He’s continuing to get treatment, but it looks like he could be available as long as there are no setbacks from practice. He was able to get through the whole practice to do some things. Obviously, he’s rusty and not in the condition that you need to be, so if he is able to play, it would be in spurts, but he was able to get through practice. He looked good. He moved well. We’ll have to see about the pain now to evaluate him tonight.”
In Pitt’s first 11 games, N’Dir averaged 18.8 minutes per game as the primary backup to starting point guard Xavier Johnson. The two lead guards also spent a good bit of time on the floor together. N’Dir is averaging 5.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game and is shooting 44.4 percent from beyond the 3-point line, tops on the team.
In his absence, Pitt used just an eight-player rotation, and Capel said that adding a ninth man back to the mix is something he’s looking forward to.
“It gives us another ball handler, a guy that can create, a guy that has some experience,” Capel said.
A graduate transfer from New Mexico State, where he played 43 games over the last two seasons, N’Dir is in his final season of eligibility.