Angel Reese will return to LSU's lineup vs. Virginia Tech after 4-game absence

Angel Reese's mysterious four-game absence has come to an end.

LSU women's basketball head coach Kim Mulkey announced during a media session that Reese will return to the lineup Thursday when the No. 7 Tigers take on Virginia Tech in a rematch of the 2023 Final Four. She didn't say whether Reese would start or come off the bench.

Reese hasn't played since Mulkey benched her midway through LSU's win over Kent State on Nov. 14. Mulkey said it was a "coach's decision" and would not elaborate. Reese then missed the Nov. 17 game against Southeastern Louisiana and the Nov. 20 game against Texas Southern, both LSU wins. The Tigers then flew to the Cayman Islands for the Cayman Islands Classic, but Reese didn't join them, missing wins against Niagara and Virginia.

Through all of this, Mulkey has repeatedly refused to discuss why Reese had been benched. All she would say after the Nov. 17 game was this:

"Angel was not in uniform. Angel is a part of this basketball team, and we hope she's back with the team soon. I'm not gonna answer any more than that."

Mulkey confirmed it was a disciplinary measure on Nov. 20 when she compared benching Reese to "disciplining your children." Mulkey also briefly mentioned "locker room issues" as the source for all this.

Alluding to "locker room issues" might be the truest thing Mulkey has said during this entire ordeal. Around the time Reese was benched, major behind-the-scenes drama began to spill out on social media. The mothers of several players (including Reese) began an Instagram posting war, and soon after several former LSU players entered the fray.

The Tigers, who are the defending national champions, will take on Virginia Tech at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.