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Jermaine Jackson, Jr., makes quick recovery, is back in the lineup for Dakota

Basketball   | Tom Markowski

Jermaine Jackson, Jr., makes quick recovery, is back in the lineup for Dakota

Macomb – He’s back.

Jermaine Jackson, Jr., of Macomb Dakota was back in the lineup on Jan. 10 when the Cougars played at Macomb Area Conference Red Division rival Clinton Township Chippewa Valley. Dakota won, 75-49.

Jackson, a 5-10 senior, suffered a separated right shoulder on Dec. 20 during the second half of Dakota’s game against U-D Jesuit at Calihan Hall.

Dakota coach Paul Tocco said Jackson’s shoulder was put back soon after the injury occurred and that Jackson immediately began a rehabilitation program.

Tocco said he didn’t want to rush Jackson back into the lineup and didn’t plan on playing him until Tocco deemed his star point guard was ready.

Jackson is considered by many as a possible candidate for Mr. Basketball.

Jackson was the second top player at Macomb to have suffered a significant injury this season. Thomas Kithier, a 6-8 junior, suffered an injury to his knee in mid-December and missed a handful of games. He returned on Jan. 6 and had 25 points and 11 rebounds in a 78-62 victory over Grosse Pointe South.

Dakota, a Class A semifinalist last season, is 5-3, 2-0 in the Red Division, heading into Friday’s game at home against Utica Eisenhower. The Cougars will play Flint Beecher at 8:30 on Saturday in the Horatio Williams Freedom Classic Showcase at Warren Fitzgerald high school.

“Unfortunately some things have happened to us,” Tocco said. “It happens in sports. Fortunately it’s not in late February. We’re not going to complain about it.”

There has been an upside to this scenario. Tocco has been forced to play other players. The result is Tocco has had a chance to develop some depth. Freshman Ryan Rollins had nine points against South and Tocco’s son, Mark, a sophomore, has also seen more quality minutes.