While an outbreak of COVID-19 among Michigan State’s basketball team has kept the Spartans sidelined for a few weeks, head coach Tom Izzo is optimistic about his team returning to action by next week.

Michigan State has been forced to postpone three games (at No. 5 Iowa, vs. Indiana and vs. No. 22 Illinois) since it’s last competition on Jan. 8 against Purdue because of an increase in positive COVID-19 cases. But during an appearance on ESPN on Saturday morning, Izzo said he’s hopeful the Spartans can play Thursday’s game against Rutgers.

“We think we’re going to play next Thursday,” Izzo said.

Per MLive.com, Michigan State has not held a full practice in 10 days because of the positive results. There have been small group workouts, however.

Six members in the program have tested positive for the virus recently.

The Spartans are 8-4 on the season with a 2-4 mark in B1G play. If MSU can get back on the floor against Rutgers on Thursday, it will be 20 days after the team played its last basketball game.

Michigan State defeated Rutgers in the first matchup 68-45 in East Lansing. That contest was played on Jan. 5.