Illinois' Brandon Paul back at practice

Updated: December 22, 2010, 12:09 AM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Illinois sophomore guard Brandon Paul returned to practice Tuesday, after injuring his left ankle during Saturday's loss to UIC, and could play against No. 10 Missouri on Wednesday, Illini coach Bruce Weber said.

"He went about a third of the practice today," Weber said. "We'll take a look at it. We'll see how it swells up. We'll see how it responds tonight and tomorrow. We need him for the long haul. We don't need a lingering foot injury."

Paul is averaging 8.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals in 20.2 minutes this season for the No. 21 Illini. He has started four games.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.