January 8.

That’s the last date Michigan State was able to take the floor for an actual B1G basketball game. The result was a 55-54 loss to Purdue, blowing a 17-point lead in the 2nd half to fall to 2-4 in the B1G and 8-4 overall.

Michigan State then got hit hard with positive COVID-19 tests, forcing the team to the sidelines for nearly a full three-week period. The Spartans had to cancel games against Iowa, Indiana and Illinois during that time, but it appears that they’re back and ready to play on Thursday.

Hours before the scheduled 7 p.m. tip against Rutgers from Piscataway, Michigan State’s Twitter account shared a photo of the team warming up. So, or the first time in 20 days, the Spartans will be back on the floor.

There could be a little rust from the Spartans on Thursday night. Not only were they unable to compete during that three-week period, there were also a number of days where the team couldn’t practice.

Michigan State will play a Rutgers team in blew out on Jan. 5, by a score of 68-45. The Scarlet Knights have also struggled recently, but are coming off a huge road win over Indiana, winning that game 74-70 in Bloomington.

Thursday night’s game is scheduled to air on FS1.