After suffering a series of blows to their depth on the court and on the sidelines, with two players injured and Pitt head coach Jeff Capel missing a game due to a positive COVID-19 test, the Panthers appear to be on the mend. As of Monday, Capel had resumed his coaching duties, and during a media session, he revealed Au’Diese Toney had returned to practice after an ankle injury sidelined him for Pitt’s 64-54 loss to Louisville last Tuesday.
The 6’6”, 210-pound guard/forward took part in Pitt’s practice sessions on Sunday and Monday, and according to Capel, he is expected to play when the Panthers next take the court. However, when exactly that will be is currently up in the air, as the team’s matchup with Duke, which was scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, has been postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test within the Pitt program. It is also unclear who tested positive and how that will impact the team moving forward.
Prior to the announcement on Monday, Toney had been listed as “day to day” due to the injury, which he suffered during a weekend practice before the Louisville game. Pitt was clearly hindered by Toney's absence and the simultaneous loss of Justin Champagnie to a knee injury in the loss to the Cardinals, so Toney's return should greatly benefit a young Panthers team in need of veteran talent.
Toney ranks second on the team in points and rebounds per game, with 16.2 and 5.0, respectively. Unfortunately, Champagnie is Pitt's top scorer and rebounder, and his return is still several weeks away. But it appears Pitt’s young talent and new additions are ready to contribute, as the team held its own against Louisville, and with Toney back, the Panthers should look even more competitive.