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Mingo cleared to play, will return to court this season

Drey Mingo will play for Purdue again this season.

And as far as coach Sharon Versyp is concerned, that's a miracle.

Mingo has recovered quickly from acute bacterial meningitis, a rare disease that landed her in the hospital for nearly six days last month.

Mingo has been cleared to play and returned to practice on a limited basis.

"Every doctor she's gone to, infectious disease, says she's a miracle. Ear specialist that she saw (Thursday), says she's a miracle, (that) she shouldn't have any hearing and she's actually gotten better. They're shocked," Versyp said Thursday.

"They said it's an act of God. There's no reason to be doing what she's doing."

Versyp's team plays its only game this week on Saturday against Auburn at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Versyp said with a laugh that she'd like Mingo to play then, but that's not likely. Purdue starts Big Ten play Dec. 30 against Wisconsin at Mackey Arena.

"We were trying to (have a return of) mid-January, but how she's progressing and how things are going right now, hopefully, we can get her back sooner than that," Versyp said.

Mingo worked out on the treadmill Thursday and spent about an hour doing limited work in practice, Versyp said.

One of Mingo's biggest hurdles will be to overcome significant hearing loss.

Purdue has reached out to some experts to help.

Versyp said someone who coaches deaf basketball players sent Mingo a book and a DVD with some sign language and the coaches also got a DVD. With Mingo getting some of her hearing back -- she couldn't hear at all after being released from the hospital, Versyp said -- Versyp said she's hoping coaches won't have to sign language that often.

"For her, she feels great," Versyp said. "She just feels like she can do stuff. ... It's more getting her cardiovascular, but then the physical beating when you're down low. We have to make sure she's in halfway optimal shape. But we're just going to go with it because everyone says she's cleared. It's just when she can get back out there."

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