By Jordan Zuniga
On Monday, Iowa sophomore Cordell Pemsl returned to the practice floor with his teammates, another huge step in his recovery from an off-season sports-hernia surgery.
Pemsl had a solid freshman year campaign, putting up 8.9 points and 5 rebounds per game.
Now, 10 weeks since the surgery, Pemsel is participating with the team in practices, and he hasn’t missed a beat.
“The last couple days he’s been tremendous,” coach Fran McCaffery said. “When he’s been on the floor, he’s been spectacular. He’s where he’s supposed to be and has a great attitude about it. I’m really happy for him because it was a tough spring and early summer.”
The injury prevented Pemsl from being able to work on his with his Iowa teammates in the Prime Time League, a disappointment for the 6-8 forward.
But Pemsl isn’t worried about falling behind his teammates, because he has found other ways to work on his game throughout the summer.
“I’m not worried about falling behind,” Pemsl said. “Obviously, you want to be out there improving your basketball game. But when they’re practicing, I’m putting up shots, I’m working on my ball handling, I’m doing some of the little stuff and the work they’re doing, just not the live stuff. I’m just ready to get back live with everything again.”
An opportunity for Pemsl to get some game action may not be too far off; the Hawkeyes will head to Europe to play four games.
It is still to be determined whether Pemsl will play at all in Europe, but with the way he has played this week has increased his chances of getting in some time.
Pemsl’s seamless transition back into practice caught the eye of fellow sophomore Tyler Cook.
“He looked honestly amazing,” Cook said. “He came in and played just as well, if not better than, the way he was playing before the surgery, so I’m excited for him.”
This is the third summer in a row that Pemsl has battled back from an injury, and he hopes it will be the last.
But even through all the frustrations of injuries, Pemsl has been able to stay positive.
“I’m just a happy person,” he said. “I get it from my mom; she’s always told me regardless of the situation, just be happy.”