Badgers' Leuer has pain-free practice

Wisconsin’s leading scorer Jon Leuer returned from a broken left wrist and played without pain in practice Monday, meaning a return to the Badgers’ lineup could come as early as Thursday’s game at Minnesota.

Leuer said by phone from Madison after practice that it was “good to get back out there and be in the mix.’’

Leuer said he was told the bone had healed and there was no reason to fear falling and hurting his wrist.

“They gave me a lot of confidence to just go out there without hesitating,’’ Leuer said. “I was just playing basketball.’’

The Badgers went 6-3 in his absence. Leuer was 2 of 15 for 10 points in his last outing, a 73-66 Wisconsin win over Purdue on Jan. 9, the Boilermakers’ first loss of the season. No. 16 Wisconsin (19-6, 9-4 in the Big Ten, a game behind co-leaders Michigan State and Ohio State) has five regular-season games left as it looks to pursue a Big Ten title and a high seed in the NCAA tournament.

Leuer (15.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) wouldn’t commit to Thursday but said things were positive after he didn’t have pain following practice.

“It went well,’’ Leuer said of practice. “It was tough to sit there and watch while I was out but it was great to see our seniors Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon step up. It was great to cheer them on.’’