Matt Painter wouldn't commit to saying John Hart will play in Purdue's game against Iowa on Sunday.
But there's "a chance," Painter said during a teleconference with reporters Thursday.
Purdue had an off day on Thursday but will practice Friday and Saturday. It's likely Hart will get some time, and Painter wants to see him in contact situations before he'll give Hart the OK for Sunday.
While Hart is slowly making his way back from foot surgery -- he hasn't played since Dec. 4 against Alabama -- perhaps there should be more concern for one of his teammates.
D.J. Byrd has largely been limited in practice of late, even taking some days off completely, Painter said.
Byrd missed practice earlier this week and was stretching his back on the sidelines at one point. Byrd had back issues last season as a freshman, and he also sprained his right shoulder earlier this season.
Byrd played only 12 minutes against Penn State and played 17 against Northwestern last week.
"He's banged up," Painter said. "We're trying our best to keep him out of some contact stuff in practice and actually just flat take practices off. I thought he showed some good signs out there (against Penn State) when he was playing. Hopefully, it's a positive step for him to try to get 100 percent.
"It's what you try to do as a coach. Sometimes you move forward and guys just kind of stay injured. If you're at a point where you can hopefully keep a guy out of a lot of stuff and limit his minutes, you're trying to work toward them getting 100 percent. So hopefully he can go in that direction."