February 22, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) Injured Wisconsin point guard Traevon Jackson said he plans on playing next week for the fifth-ranked Badgers after being sidelined more than a month with a broken right foot.

Coach Bo Ryan's senior leader was vague, though, when asked Sunday if he had been medically cleared, or if he was just being optimistic. The target to return is the March 1 game against Michigan State, which would be Wisconsin's final home game this year.

''I can't say medical stuff,'' Jackson said at the Kohl Center. ''I'm playing'' on March 1.

Jackson said he would travel with the team for Tuesday's game at Maryland, his first road trip since the injury.

''I'll probably be practicing this week, sometime after the Maryland game,'' he said.

The proclamation surprised associate head coach Greg Gard, who spoke with reporters Sunday after Jackson.

''That's news to me,'' Gard said. ''I just saw it on Twitter before I came down here. I don't know. I haven't talked to any of our medical staff about anything.''

Jackson was injured in a 67-62 loss at Rutgers on Jan. 11 and underwent surgery later that week. He had started 84 consecutive games and helped the Badgers to the Final Four last season.

In 17 games this season, he averaged 9.4 points with a season-high 25 in an 80-70 loss to Duke in early December. Ryan trusts Jackson to take big shots in tight, late-game situations.

But sophomore Bronson Koenig has played well starting in Jackson's place for the Badgers (25-2, 13-1 Big Ten), who have won 10 straight. Koenig had a career-high 17 points in Saturday's 63-53 win over Minnesota and ranks among the nation's leaders in assists-to-turnover ratio.

Jackson said he has tried to help Koenig as much as possible.

''Honestly, at first it was a little tough,'' Jackson said. ''It was tough because I wanted to be part of it, I wanted to be out there. But, I just really embraced it and looked it at the opportunity, `How can I help Bronson be better?''

Jackson said he was unsure of his role when he returns.

''I'm just willing to help the team out in whatever I can,'' Jackson said. ''If that means me coming off the bench, if that means me starting, whatever it matters, I've just got to come out and play.''

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