UTSA center Jacob Germany is practicing again and rounding back into form after a week-long pause to determine the cause of what was described as “discomfort” in his chest.
The 6-foot-11 Germany sat out all three of the team’s workouts last week. He missed another one on Monday as the Roadrunners ramped up intensity and officially started their fall preseason camp.
By Tuesday, Germany had been cleared, allowing him to participate both Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. He joined his friends on the court both days for workouts that lasted close to three hours each.
“Everything was fine, so he jumped right back into it,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “On Tuesday you could tell he had missed it just from a conditioning standpoint. It didn’t look like he missed anything other than that. He was fine today.”
Henson said there had been no concerns expressed by physicians after examining test results other than “maybe something lingering in the lungs” from a previous infection.
“Which is why maybe he just felt something and didn’t feel right,” Henson said. “But all the tests came back looking good.”
Henson said the episode was stressful for Germany, the Roadrunners’ top returning player.
“I was pretty confident we’d get some good news, and we did, and the other positive thing is, he didn’t miss much time,” the coach said. “You know, last year, he had some tests done and it just dragged on and (we) struggled to get that clearance.”
This time, Germany has returned in fairly short order, and Henson said he appreciates the medical staff “taking care of him” and getting him back on the court.
In the meantime, the team has been making progress. As one of UTSA’s assistants said earlier this week, “we’re just playing better basketball.” Henson said players were “really fired up on Monday,” with “terrific” effort.
“Same thing on Tuesday,” he said. “I was pleased both days we were able to sustain our level (of intensity). The fatigue didn’t become real obvious to us, which it can. I was very pleased with our conditioning level. I knew they’d be excited.”
While Germany watched from the side, 6-9 sophomore Josh Farmer and 6-9 freshman Massal Diouf stepped into the breach and took advantage of the additional time on the floor.
Henson said Farmer looked particularly good on Monday. As for Diouf, a true freshman from The Netherlands, “every chance we have to get quality reps for him is good.”
On Tuesday, the coach said players on defense generally played better than the offense, but on Thursday the players flipped the script with a few new offensive wrinkles added.
“The team defending (the scheme) didn’t know exactly what was coming … and it looked a little better,” he said. “We got some clean looks.”