Starting forward Xavian Stapleton’s availability will be a game-time decision on Saturday at MTSU, an FAU spokesperson said. That marks a significant improvement from his prognosis over the past few weeks.
Stapleton hasn’t played since November. The Owls are 3-4 in his absence. FAU’s third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, he averaged 11 points and 5.9 rebounds in his seven games.
The return of Stapleton would provide a huge boost for an Owls team that probably lost another starter on Thursday night. Jaylen Sebree left the Owls’ loss at UAB with a shoulder injury. He is unlikely to play on Saturday and will be examined by a doctor upon returning to Boca Raton.
Sebree had been thrust into a more prominent role following the season-ending injury to Jailyn Ingram, the Owls leading scorer and rebounder.
Should Stapleton take the court on Saturday he would be the second Owl to return to action is as many games.
After being in and out of the lineup for the past couple weeks, starting center Karlis Silins returned to the Owls in a reserve role against UAB and is expected to play vs. MTSU.
The Blue Raiders lost their C-USA opener, falling to FIU on Thursday. They struggled against a rugged non-conference scheduled that includes losses to Virginia, Vanderbilt, Stanford and Ole Miss. The Blue Raiders have lost nine consecutive games, a streak that dates to mid-November and enter the game sporting a 3-11 record. Only one of those victories came against a Division I opponent.