Come Saturday, Michigan State figures to have its whole team back in the lineup for the first time since early January.
"He has had a couple (practices) doing some of the stuff, but he should practice 90% full tonight," coach Tom Izzo said. "The good news is that when we play this weekend it is March."
Dawson has missed nine games – in which the Spartans are 4-5 – after breaking his right hand slamming a table during a film season leading up to the Spartans' loss to Michigan on Jan. 25 in East Lansing.
Michigan State has been without one or more of its starters for the greater part of Big Ten play – and occasionally before that, as well.
"Even though Dawson has been limited in practice" Izzo said, "at least we have had some time to work on our sets or timing issues that are so hard and that is what is probably going to take the most time."
But when the ball is tipped against Illinois on Saturday, Dawson will be available for the first time in more than a month.
"He is going to play with a little bit of a brace on," Izzo said. "It doesn't seem like it affects a lot of things, but it is there. How much will I play him? I have no clue, but I may know more about that today and tomorrow."