Howard observes on Michigan bench after surgery

NASSAU, Bahamas — Michigan coach Juwan Howard returned to the Wolverines’ bench Wednesday, but only as an observer for their first-round game against Memphis in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Howard has been resting after heart surgery Sept. 15 that successfully resected an aortic aneurysm and repaired his aortic valve.

At the time of the surgery, it was expected Howard would recover in six to 12 weeks, with a return to the program in four to six weeks. The school recently said there was no immediate timetable for his return as he continued to rehab and rest while Phil Martelli continues to serve as interim head coach.

Another former college and NBA star, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway, made his first appearance this season on the Tigers’ bench after sitting out the team’s first three games to serve a suspension resulting from recruiting violations.

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