Illini's Maniscalco expected to play vs. PSU

Illinois senior point guard Sam Maniscalco is expected to play at Penn State on Thursday after missing the last three games due to injury.

Maniscalco did not play against Northwestern, Nebraska and Ohio State after re-aggravating a left ankle injury. He’s had two surgeries on the ankle in the last two years and has dealt with reoccurring pain off and on this season.

“We got him in a little scrimmage [Monday],” Illinois coach Bruce Weber said on Tuesday. “He was fine. I don’t think we can play him 30 minutes, but if we can do what we did last time where he sat him after exhibitions or whatever, we kind of scripted the minutes, 10-15 minutes.

“You’re going on the road, and he’s been through it. He’s come up big at the end of games, shot-clock plays, taking the ball out of bounds, so there’s a lot of things we can use him for. Hopefully, he gets a little feel, and you get him a few minutes against Wisconsin [on Sunday.]”

Maniscalco has played in 15 games, starting 13, and averages 9.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 27.7 minutes this season.