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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU star forward Angel Reese, who has missed four games for undisclosed reasons, is rejoining the No. 7 Tigers in advance of their match-up with ninth-ranked Virginia Tech on Thursday night. “She will play tomorrow,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said Wednesday. “It’s a boost having her back, period. It’s not just against Virginia Tech. It’s just for our team. She’s just a tremendous player, one of the best players in the country. “I really think Angel will just be like Angel,” Mulkey added. “She’s just been really good in practice.” Reese had foreshadowed her return when she posted on social media a photo of herself inside LSU’s basketball stadium, the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The timing of Reese’s comeback is ideal for defending national champion LSU, and not just because their next game is a replay of last season’s national semifinal. Sa’Maya Smith, LSU’s power forward, had a knee injury two games ago against Niagara in the Cayman Islands Tournament. Mulkey confirmed on Wednesday that Smith will miss the rest of the season due to ligament and meniscus damage in her right knee.

“Timing is everything in life and the timing of her injury is just so sad for her because she has improved by leaps and bounds,” Mulkey said in a statement. “The timing of Angel being back kind of helps, but there’s no substitution for the value that Sa’Maya has to our team and what she’s meant thus far.”

Mulkey has reluctant to go into detail regarding Reese’s absence from the squad for much of the past two weeks, saying only that it was due to vague “locker-room issues.”

Mulkey, on the other hand, predicted that Reese’s reunion with teammates and coaches would go well.

“We are passed it. We were over it after it happened. “Really,” Mulkey said. “It’s just fun to watch them high-five.”

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