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Sean Miller delivers more positive news about Kevin Parrom’s rehab

Arizona's Kevin Parrom hopes to soon be soaring for blocked shots. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Arizona Wildcats junior wing Kevin Parrom continues to make progress from leg injuries suffered in a Sept. 24 shooting, and coach Sean Miller says, “We’re starting to count on him to join us in early December.”

Miller added at a Friday news conference: “There is a chance optimistically that it could be before that.”

Miller cautioned there could always be a setback in Parrom’s recovery, but it all sounds like good news for Parrom and the Wildcats, who could use his scoring, rebounding, defense and toughness.

Parrom, who could rejoin five-on-five practice in a little more than a week, is able to do a basketball workout on his own for about 45 to 60 minutes, “which is going to do nothing but give him more and more confidence and strength in his leg,” Miller said.

Parrom, who was shot while home in The Bronx, N.Y., to visit his ailing mother, has nearly regained the entire feeling in his lower right leg after suffering nerve and tissue damage.

“He’s working out every day now, full blast with skill. He has additional movement that he didn’t have two weeks ago,” Miller said.

“He doesn’t have the explosion yet, but that will come as he begins to practice more … I think once he starts practicing, things will come back to Kevin pretty easily.”

Parrom also is recovering emotionally from the shooting, as well as the death of his mother last month and the death of his grandmother a few months before that.

“We support him and surround him with all of us to make sure he knows he has a family environment here,” Miller said.

“He’s a junior, not a freshman. He is used to being in Tucson. He has friends here. He has great relationships on our team … and he has a coaching staff he has known for a long time.”

Parrom averaged 7.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game last season, shooting 41.8 percent (38 of 91) from 3-point range. He was expected to have a bigger role on this year’s team.

While Parrom’s potential return is the headline news, Miller also talked about the impact that senior center Alex Jacobson could make as he tries to come back from recurring problems.

Jacobson has practiced only a couple of times but is, “for the first time, showing progress,” Miller said.

Jacobson could fill a few minutes in the post — where the Cats are young and/or still developing — and would add to the competition in practice.

“Getting Alex Jacobson back will really help us,” Miller said.

“Not because he is a 30-minute-a-game player or the cure-all, but he’s someone who is a fifth-year senior, 23 years old, a 7-foot guy practicing every day, knows what we want done early in the season. Can he contribute to our cause? No question.”

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