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John Shurna at Northwestern practice

Updated: December 29, 2010, 2:58 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern junior forward John Shurna returned to practice Wednesday after recently spraining his ankle and is optimistic he'll be able to play in the Wildcats' Big Ten opener at Purdue on Friday.

Shurna injured his left ankle Dec. 23 against Mount St. Mary's and hadn't been able to fully practice since. He's averaged 23.3 points, which ranks him ninth in the country, and 5.4 rebounds per game this season.

"If I'm able to cut and able to just help the team, I want ...

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