Payne expected to play Thursday vs PSU

Payne expected to play Thursday vs PSU

Senior, who has missed past seven games, practiced in part Monday night.

Michigan State is inching closer to getting Adreian Payne back and it couldn't be any more welcome.

Payne has missed the past seven games, but Spartans coach Tom Izzo said Payne took part in about a third of the Monday night's practice and is expected to play Thursday against Penn State.

"Maybe by Thursday morning I will know more because it is going to be day to day," Izzo said.

How soon Payne returns now rests on how much soreness he has from working his way back and determining whether any soreness is from starting to use muscles again or if it is soreness from the injury itself.

But being back in practice had him "very animated," Izzo said.

As the Spartans look to get healthier after Payne missed the past six games, the next step will be adjusting to having the 6-foot-10 forward back in the lineup.

"It's now going to be us learning to play with him," Izzo said, noting that Payne makes a difference for Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Matt Costello.

"It's going to be another threat," he said. "It's going to be a threat inside that we haven't had."

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