Eighth-ranked Villanova (11-1), which opens the Big East portion of its schedule Saturday at Marquette, has learned that 6-10 freshman forward/center Mouphtaou Yarou, part of one of the best recruiting classes in the country, has been cleared to return to the team after missing the last 11 games after being diagnosed with the Hepititas B virus.
Yarou started the first two games before being sidelined prior to the Puerto Rico Tipoff Classic on Nov. 19. Since then he has been under the care of team physican Dr. Frank Furman. He has not practiced with the team in the interim, but was allowed to work out on his own.
"We're excited for Mouph," said coach Jay Wright, in a statement. "The doctors tell us he has responded well to treatment. We'll see where he's at once he's back with us and then make a determination on when he's ready to return to action."
It's doubtful that Yarou will play at Marquette. Conventional wisdom would suggest that Wright will bring him along slowly, just as a precaution.
But when he's ready, it will definitely be a big plus for the Wildcats, who were really left with one big man, 6-10 junior Tony Pena, in his absence.
The 'Cats have had senior guard Reggie Redding back for the last two games, and it has made a difference. He had to serve a one-semester suspension by the university for violating the student code of conduct during the summer.