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Granger: I think I'm very, very close to playing

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Well, Danny Granger is sticking to his story.

On Monday, after increasing his on-court work toward a return, Granger felt he was closing in on a return date. Just needed to work himself back into game shape.

Then on Tuesday, Jim O'Brien lowered expectations. When questioned about how Granger looked in a shoot-around workout, JOB said he thought Granger was still two to two and half weeks away from returning. But this was JOB's prognosis, not the training staff's, after a 43-point loss the night before. He was in no mood to deal with things out of his control, so a nice conservative estimate could keep reporters from asking about Granger every day.

No such luck for JOB, though, since Cliff Brunt reports that Granger might return as early as next week after two pain-free practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

"I think I'm very, very close to playing," he said after Thursday's practice. "It's just a matter of everybody, the coaches and the training staff, all giving me the OK to go forward."

This news along with the win over Orlando should certainly brighten JOB's mood. If Granger can play in one of the home games next week, combined with the return of Troy Murphy and Tyler Hansbrough (assuming at least Hansbrough should be back by then) things may actually be back to normal around the Fieldhouse.