PITTSBURGH — Pitt wing Justin Champagnie returned significantly early from his knee injury, as he was in the starting lineup for the Panthers against Syracuse on Saturday.
Champagnie was injured in practice before Pitt’s game against Louisville on Dec. 22, and was expected to miss six to eight weeks, but the sophomore wing from Brooklyn appears to have healed much faster than anticipated.
Head coach Jeff Capel said on Monday that Champagnie was healing faster than anticipated.
“I do expect him to be back before the six to eight weeks,” Capel said. “I still don’t know exactly when that will be, but he is progressing very, very well. He’s not practicing. He is able to do some stuff individually. We are starting to integrate him back to doing some stuff individually, some individual workouts, and at practice. If we are doing just shooting, no contact, just shooting, he is able to do a little bit of that. He is just doing stuff on an individual basis.”
A return against the Orange on Saturday would come just four weeks after Champagnie’s injury. Thanks to his quick return and several postponements, Champagnie will have missed just two games.
Pitt is also expected to get senior guard Nike Sibande and freshman forward Noah Collier back from COVID-19 protocols on Saturday, while freshman forward John Hugley has been suspended indefinitely after being charged on Thursday with three felonies relating to a stolen car in July.