It's a good week to be a Memphis Tiger fan, in just about any way imaginable.
First, the hugest news of all: Memphis was accepted into the Big East in all sports no later than 2013. Then came the news that West Virginia was leaving the Big East for the Big XII and Memphis might be able to join the B-E this fall (still in the works).
The men's basketball team defeated East Carolina on the road, 70-59. Then just hours later, one of the best junior college prospects in the country, Geron Johnson, committed to the program.
The women's basketball team rallied from a 13-point deficit to defeat SMU, 60-55, also on the road.
And finally, Thursday night came even more good news for fans of Josh Pastner and the Tiger men: Adonis Thomas is walking around without a crutch, and planning on returning sooner than most anyone could ever imagine.
We bumped into Thomas and Chris Crawford at the Sheffield-Mitchell game at Mitchell High School. Sheffield clinched a berth in the Class AA City Championships with a thrilling, 56-54 comeback victory, triumphing on a Jaquize Harmon layup at the final buzzer.
Thomas shed his cast and crutch a few days ago. He's walking without a limp and without nearly as much pain.
"Yeah, I got out of my cast on Monday," he reports. "And I got rid of my crutches then, too. I still have a little pain but it's not that bad."
And Thomas says he's not done for the season just yet, either.
"I'll begin my heavy rehab next week, doing some hard stuff to see how my ankle responds. But I wanna be back by the Conference USA tournament in a few weeks."
Contacted by phone, Memphis head coach Josh Pastner, who is of course monitoring Thomas' rehab efforts closely, seemed upbeat about the latest turn of events.
"I know Tiger Nation is concerned about Adonis," he began, "but he's doing well. As for his return, we'll be thrilled to have him back whenever he's ready. It's all up to how he feels and Mother Nature."
Knowing how tough and determined Adonis Thomas is, we wouldn't bet against him being ready for the C-USA tourney March 7-10 here in Memphis.