Tres Tinkle nears return to play after wrist injury

Tres Tinkle (CENTER) holds his injured wrist during the game against University of Portland. Tinkle looks to return to play. 

Brenden Slaughter News/Sports Chief

Coming into this season, sophomore forward Tres Tinkle was expected to be one of the leaders of the new OSU Basketball squad. He had dealt with adversity and disappointment in his freshman season, missing Oregon State’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 26 years due to a broken foot. He had a bad stretch of luck that cut his freshman season short.

This season, Tinkle seemed poised to lead the Beavers in many statistical categories including scoring, steals and second in rebounds. But once again, Tinkle had to deal with adversity when he broke his right wrist, after injuring it awkwardly against Fresno State.

Just as the Beavers are poised to go against arguably their toughest opponent of the season–the Oregon Ducks–they just might be getting the scoring boost they need: Tres Tinkle.

“Hopefully (I can play against Oregon),” Tinkle said. “My last check with the doctor was two weeks ago, and I wasn’t quite ready. This one will probably give me a better idea of how strong the bone is, and a better timetable of when I will actually be able to be back. I think (the doctor) was hoping for this week. It just depends on where the bone is at.”

So what has Tinkle been able to do since his injury? Given that the break was in his non-shooting hand, he has been able to do some basketball activities during his recovery.

“I just do form shooting since I’m left handed it doesn’t bother me too much,” Tinkle said. “I was doing a couple things trying to get motion back, but they took me off that to try ad get it more immobilized, and speed up the recovery process.”

It’s been a tough road for the Beavers since Tinkle’s injury, given that they are 2-9 since his absence with wins against Southern Oregon and Kent State.

“It’s been pretty tough without (Tinkle), because he is one of our leaders, and a player who can do everything on the floor,” freshman point guard Jaquori McLaughlin said. “Missing him is a big piece, but we have to stay together and wait for him to come back.”

Despite being sidelined because of the injury, Tinkle remains a vocal leader on the bench, and while his teammates could really use his playmaking on the court, they know they can’t rush Tinkle back.

“I try and check in with him every now and again,” Thompson Jr. said. “I try not to hound him and give him space about it because it is a tough situation, but we really need him out there on the court and we are looking forward to when he comes back.”

Junior forward Matt Dahlen echoed Thompson Jr., saying “When (Tinkle) is out there he will be a huge part of what we are going to do, and he needs to take his time and make sure he is ready to come back.”

While it is still uncertain whether or not Tinkle will be on the floor this Saturday, or soon after, one thing is for sure: when he does come back he will certainly be able to help the Beavers improve on what has been a disappointing campaign this season.

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