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Laurence Bowers injury: Missouri big man 'can't wait' to return to court

Big man could be big reason Mizzou is a force this season

Dilip Vishwanat - Getty Images

Expectations are high for the 2012-13 Missouri Tigers, who are coming off a Big 12 title and entering their first season in the SEC. A big key to their success will be big man Laurence Bowers, who returns to the team after an ACL injury ended his season prematurely last season.

Bowers, a fifth-year senior, told the team's official website he can't wait to return to a team that won 30 games last season and could be a Final Four contender this season:

"I feel good and it's great being so close to the start of the season. It was a challenge over the past year (rehabbing), but to be this close to the start of the year is really a blessing. I can't wait to run out there and compete in front of our fans one final time."

Bowers was a Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection in 2011. He's an Academic All-American after already graduating and pursuing a Masters in Health Education and Promotion:

"That was how I could contribute last season. I worked hard in the classroom and earned my degree and now I am finishing up my career on the court and trying to earn a Masters as well. Taking care of business in the classroom is a big part of who we are here."