He went down in the first three minutes of the first game in his first season as a starter, so forgive Michigan State sophomore guard Alvin Ellis III for being eager.

"I'll be able to play, I'll be able to play Wednesday," Ellis said of No. 19 MSU's ACC/Big Ten Challenge game at Notre Dame, after taking part in practice Monday — his first practice since spraining his right ankle early in MSU's Nov. 14 64-59 win at Navy.

MSU coach Tom Izzo said he was "shocked" by how much Ellis was able to do in practice, a day after he warmed up but sat for the sixth straight game in the Spartans' 61-56 loss to No. 11 Kansas in the Orlando Classic title matchup. But Izzo tempered the expectations for Ellis' return.

"We've got to really see now tomorrow," Izzo said. "But I'm hoping we can use him if we have to, but it'll be minimum use. Because we get through this week, now we've got a week off, and then I think we'd really be in business for both guys."

The other guy is freshman guard/forward Javon Bess, who has yet to play because of a broken bone in his right foot. Bess got rid of his walking boot on Sunday.