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Updated: March 22nd, 2012 8:56pm
Resolution on Trevor Mbakwe's sixth year of eligibility seems imminent

Resolution on Trevor Mbakwe's sixth year of eligibility seems imminent

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
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It appears Trevor Mbakwe and the Gophers may have received the good news they were hoping for.

According to a report Thursday evening from WCCO-TV, the NCAA has granted the senior forward a sixth year of eligibility. However, the report was removed temporarily several minutes after it was posted before it was put back up within the hour.

A source with a close relationship with Mbakwe told KSTP-TV's Darren Wolfson that the star Gophers forward has yet to hear any news regarding the NCAA's decision. The team has not confirmed the original report. Sources with ties to the team were also unable to confirm the story with 1500 ESPN.

Mbakwe -- a preseason All-American and All-Big Ten selection -- tore his ACL in November in a seemingly unceremonious end to his collegiate career. But the Gophers followed through with their plans to apply for a medical redshirt, leaving the decision up to an NCAA-sanctioned committee, which usually releases its verdicts after the conclusion of the season.

If the report holds, Mbakwe, who will be 24 years old by the end of next season, will still need to decide whether to stay or forgo the additional year to enter the NBA Draft. His return would be a huge boost to a young Gophers squad that has just begun to show its potential during their current run to the NIT semi-finals.

In his one season with the Gophers, Mbakwe led the Big Ten in rebounding and averaged a double-double, with 13.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. 

Mbakwe has not had any setbacks in his rehab from the injury and is progressing steadily towards a return to the court in the fall.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
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