Malcolm Dandridge faces uncertainty this year with the Tigers

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With the return of James Wiseman and Damion Baugh to the lineup in Tuesday’s season opener, the Memphis Tigers are almost at full strength as they gear up for game number two of the season Friday night against Illinois-Chicago.

The question is, will the team make it to full strength this year?

Malcolm Dandridge, another one of head coach Penny Hardaway’s recruits from East High School and another part of the school’s No. 1 recruiting class, has been cleared to practice after a knee injury cost Dandridge the tail end of his high school senior season. But now, the 6-foot-9 big has to work his way back into game shape.

How long that takes may bring a redshirt season into play for Dandridge.

“Redshirting isn’t out of the question,” Hardaway said. “It just depends on him. For us, we would love for him to play but there’s no pressure from us for him to play. Just need him 100 percent healthy and mentally, 100 percent there. We’re just going at his pace. I know what knee injuries do to you mentally. Physically he looks great but mentally he has to get past the hurdles of pain. There’s going to be some pain on certain days and certain days it’s going to be stiff. We just have to get him to a point where mentally he feels like I can go everyday without feeling any ailments. He’s not there yet.”

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