JerShon Cobb’s right foot injury still has not been diagnosed, but the prognosis seems clear: It’s doubtful he will return this season.

“He wants to be out there, but we have to be smart about it,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said Monday. “We will not do anything to affect him long term. We’ll look out for his best interests.”

At 12-16 (5-10 Big Ten), Northwestern has just three regular-season games left. And it’s not as if the Wildcats are making a postseason push.

Why allow Cobb, who has one year of eligibility remaining, to risk making the injury worse?

The 6-foot-5 guard missed seven games as a freshman because of a hip issue that was addressed by surgery. He sat out 12 games as a sophomore with hip and back issues.

Now a redshirt junior, Cobb missed two December games with a sprained ankle, and Collins said he has “a knee issue that will have to be addressed after the season.”

Plus Cobb’s absence allows Collins to test Tre Demps’ ball-handling ability and get a longer look at sophomore Kale Abrahamson and freshman Nate Taphorn.

Cobb has been NU’s second-best player, averaging 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He has improved his 3-point shooting to 35.2 percent and hit 17 of 39 (43.5 percent) in his last six games.