Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann updates status of injured players Justin Ahrens, Musa Jallow and E.J. Liddell

Adam Jardy
Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann and his staff made 69 recruiting trips totaling 159 days from September 2017 until the end of April 2018. [Samantha Madar/Dispatch]

Two of the three players to miss the start of practice due to injury are now at least back in action for the Ohio State men’s basketball team.

Sophomore wing Justin Ahrens and freshman forward E.J. Liddell are both participating in practice, coach Chris Holtmann told The Dispatch on Sunday afternoon while making an appearance at the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Clinic at Grandview High School. Junior wing Musa Jallow, however, remains sidelined.

Ahrens missed most of the summer with a back injury suffered while weightlifting and is back but “he’s not at full strength,” Holtmann said.

Liddell, expected to assume a significant role as a scorer on this year’s team, is likewise working himself into better shape after missing a few weeks with an undisclosed lower-leg injury. Jallow, too, is dealing with an undisclosed lower-leg injury believed to be affecting his ankle. He is expected to take on more of a leadership role this season.

At the team’s media day two days before the start of practice, Holtmann said all three would be limited from the start but that Ahrens and Liddell were expected to return soon while Jallow was more “week-to-week,” he said.

The Buckeyes will face Louisville in a closed “secret” scrimmage this weekend. They then will host Cedarville for an exhibition game Oct. 30 and open the regular season one week later against Cincinnati.

Ohio State was picked to finish third in Big Ten in the official media poll conducted jointly by The Dispatch and The Athletic.