Jaden Akins is gearing up for what he hopes will be a big season for Michigan State. However, his full availability is still up in the air with the season opener for the Spartans quickly approaching.

The good news is Akins returned to practice for Michigan State on Thursday. Akins admitted he’s ready to get back out there but also knows “it’s got to be smart” after having surgery to repair a stress reaction in his foot.

“I definitely want to get back out there but it’s got to be smart,” Akins said after Thursday’s practice per Matt Charboneau with The Detroit News. “I’ve got to go day by day, see how I’m feeling. So once I’m feeling 100% then I’ll know. But I’ve been feeling really good lately.”

Head coach Tom Izzo also addressed Akins’ status after practice. Izzo admitted Thursday was the most Akins has done since getting back on the court, and now the next phase of his recovery can begin.

According to Izzo, that next phase means hitting regular practice for 3 straight days without lingering soreness or issues.

“That’s the most he’s done and now he branches onto another stage,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “The big thing is tomorrow morning, how he feels, what does he do? He was pretty good today. He moved good, he looks great. He’s 10 pounds heavier, and that’s a lot to lose, because I think he’s still my best two-way player, offense and defense.

“But I’m not going to push it. We’re trying to (practice) Friday, Saturday, Sunday, regular practicing. If he can do three days in a row, he might play Monday. If he can’t, then it’ll be Friday or later. Until he can go three, four days in a row (he won’t play). Today was about a third of practice. Tomorrow we’ll try to move it up to three quarters, and then do that three days in a row.”

Akins appeared in 36 games as a true freshman last season and averaged 3.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. Hopefully, he stays healthy and posts a breakout campaign for the Spartans.