Posted: Fri February 15, 2013 7:02PM; Updated: Fri February 15, 2013 7:02PM

Smith could return early for No. 11 Butler

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Butler center Andrew Smith is closing in on 1,000 career points.
Butler center Andrew Smith is closing in on 1,000 career points.
Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- No. 11 Butler could have starting center Andrew Smith back for Saturday's game at Fordham.

Earlier this week, the Bulldogs said Smith would miss both games this week with an undisclosed abdominal injury.

On Friday, the team issued a statement saying Smith has been cleared to practice and that he was healing faster than expected. Coach Brad Stevens says Smith's availability will be a "game-time decision."

Smith was injured before he fouled out in last Saturday's 59-56 loss at George Washington.

The senior center is Butler's second-leading scorer at 11.4 points. He's also averaging 5.4 rebounds. This month, Smith, who has started 91 of Butler's last 94 games, became the 34th player in school history to top 1,000 career points.

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