Gophers freshman Wally Ellenson broke his left hand in practice on Tuesday and will miss 6-8 weeks, head coach Tubby Smith said Wednesday.

Ellenson broke a bone along the middle finger his hand in a rebounding drill, when he caught it in a teammate's jersey and bent it backward. Smith said it was a clean break and will not need to be pinned.

Smith said the team could consider redshirting the freshman.

“He was playing well and he probably wasn’t going to be, but it’s going to be something that we’re going to probably consider at this juncture,” Smith said.

Ellenson is a 6-4 guard from Rice Lake, Wis. The Gophers open exhibition play Thursday night at Williams Arena against Minnesota State.


Other notes from Wednesday's media access:

  • Smith said he expects both Trevor Mbakwe and Mo Walker to play in Thursday's exhibition, but neither to start.
  • The expected lineup is: Andre Hollins, Austin Hollins, Joe Coleman, Rodney Williams, Elliott Eliason -- the group that took the Gophers on a run in the postseason last year.
  • Mbakwe is still completing the requirements Smith said he laid out for the forward to fully rejoing the team. 
  • Freshman Charles Buggs turned his ankle in an early practice, Smith said, but only missed a few days and is expected to play on Thursday.