Michigan State star Denzel Valentine said he expects to return next week for the top-ranked Spartans' matchup at Penn State on Jan. 10 after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee a few days before Christmas.
"I'll probably be back for the Penn State game," Valentine told ESPN.com before Saturday's game at Minnesota. "I just have to get some of the swelling down [in the knee]."
Valentine, a Wooden Award candidate averaging 18.5 points and 7.1 assists per game, said he's making progress each day and that his knee "feels good."
If Valentine's timetable sticks, he will return to the floor after missing four games.
Without Valentine, Michigan State suffered a loss at Iowa in its Big Ten opener Tuesday and struggled against Oakland in its previous contest on Dec. 22.
The Spartans likely will lose their No. 1 ranking once the new polls are released Monday.