Marquette G James cleared to play

Updated: March 23, 2009, 1:45 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Marquette senior guard Dominic James, who suffered a broken foot Feb. 25 in what was thought to be his last game of the season, was cleared to play for the sixth-seeded Golden Eagles' second-round game against the No. 3 seed Missouri Tigers in Boise, Idaho.

"I don't know how much he'll be able to contribute," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said of Sunday's game. "The thing that I'm excited about is we're going to give him an opportunity to close out his career in the best way he possibly could.

"And I think the recovery has been due in large part to his work, but also because of the wisdom of Ernest [Eugene] and Dr. [Darrin] Maccoux," Williams said of the team's athletic trainer and physician.

James, who averaged 11.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.2 steals this season, was hurt in a 93-82 loss to Connecticut as the Golden Eagles (25-9) lost five of their last six regular-season games with him out.

They advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 58-57 victory over No. 11 seed Utah State.

"He worked out the day we got here, he worked out Friday morning before our game, worked out Friday night, practiced with us today," Williams said. "So medically he's been cleared, but how much he'll be able to contribute, I don't know."

James underwent surgery to the foot two days after the injury and began rehabilitation immediately.

"We've talked to some experts in the field, and these cases are known, have happened in elite athletes -- college and the pros," said Eugene, Marquette's trainer. "He's been very instrumental in all this, obviously. He's been so dedicated being where he's supposed to be every day, doing what he needs to do, and he's surpassed every goal."