CHARLESTON, W.Va. — George Washington received good news this week as senior guard Justin Phillips is cleared to return for the Patriots after missing five games with a broken hand.

Phillips injured the hand back on December 22nd.

“He has all range of motion back, it was just getting the stiffness, soreness and pain out of it,” said George Washington coach Rick Greene. “We were playing some of our younger, good kids – playing them in situations we didn’t think we would have to play them in. But all of that is just going to make you better.”

George Washington entered Friday with an 8-2 record, going 3-2 without Phillips. Prior to the injury, Phillips was averaging 18 points per game.

His return is an overall boost to a Patriots team that entered the year as one of the early contenders in Class AAA.

“His first step is just extremely quick,” Greene said. “He was hitting guys on the wing and dumping off to the guys inside. He was having his best floor game that I think he’s had in his whole career.

To get him back is a huge boost,” he continued. “You’re getting a first team all-state player back. When he’s healthy, I think he’s a candidate for player of the year.”

The Patriots this week are No. 7 among Class AAA teams in the most recent MetroNews Power Index.

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