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Update: Syracuse basketball’s Frank Howard expected to return tonight

Syracuse’s senior point guard practiced this week. A return to the court tonight is up to his head coach.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday morning update: looks like Frank’s back tonight

Before the preseason began, Syracuse Orange basketball point guard Frank Howard suffered a lower left leg injury. He was cast in a walking boot at media day, the Orange vs. White scrimmage and throughout the early preseason.

“It’s my ankle, and it’s feeling great. I’m moving around a lot better off the crutches. It was a preseason injury that happened in practice. It’s something that I have to deal with. It’s a little annoying, nothing serious, but I am just trying to get better in rehab and get as strong as I can for my team,” Howard said back at media day.

Initially slated for a return for the first game of the season, the senior point guard has since missed the first four games of the year. Howard’s team has started 2-2 in his absence and while he made the trip to New York City last week he was unavailable in either contest for Syracuse at Madison Square Garden. He was initially reported to be a game-time decision for the UConn game, but Jim Boeheim dismissed that notion after the game and said he wouldn’t play against Oregon, either.

After losing to the Ducks in the second game of the 2K Classic, Jim Boeheim said of Howard, “Ideally we’ll try to practice him Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and hope he can play some Wednesday. But I don’t know. I can’t call that.”

NCAA Basketball: ACC Operation Basketball Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Without a clean bill of health, Howard has missed more games than originally preconceived. Nebulous commentary has in turn caused some speculation, but “it wasn’t an ankle sprain,” said Athletic Communications Director, Pete Moore.

While the injury isn’t an ankle sprain, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the injury sustained was not to the ankle.

Since getting back to Syracuse after the New York City trip, it was confirmed that Howard practiced each of the last three days. Whether or not he returns against Colgate is up to Boeheim, Moore said. Recent Commentary from Howard to’s Donna Ditota confirmed that.

Syracuse tips off against the Raiders tonight at 7pm from the Carrier Dome. The Orange will then have a week off before traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State on Nov. 28 as part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge.

For Syracuse basketball stories and updates follow James on twitter @JamesSzuba