Nate Bittle gives update on his sickness and says he’s coming back to Oregon in the fall

This was supposed to be a big year for Nate Bittle. Entering his third season at Oregon, the former 5-star recruit was set to have a key role on this season’s Ducks team, playing next to N’Faly Dante in the post.

But then in the third game of the season, Bittle took a fall in the paint and injured his wrist, which kept him out until late January. Then, as Bittle was making his return against Arizona State, he got sick. Bittle played a bit in the Ducks’ next game against Arizona, but since then, that sickness — which is still unknown — has kept Bittle off the court.

Now, almost two months later, the Oregon Ducks are about to tip off their first NCAA tournament game in three years. On Wednesday before the Ducks practice in Pittsburgh, Bittle spoke to the media, shining light on what the last seven weeks have been like for him.

“I lost 15 pounds,” Bittle said during Wednesday’s media availability, per The Oregonian’s James Crepea. “I was about 230-232. Then I dropped all the way down to 214.6 I remember was I think the lowest. Now I’m working my way back up, but it’s been difficult.”

Oregon certainly wishes Bittle was available, as they prepare for their most important game in the last three seasons, with just eight healthy scholarship players. While tethered to the sideline, Bittle has still found a way to make impact, often being the most vocal and encouraging member of the Ducks bench.

After this season, Bittle will likely have two remaining seasons of eligibility, since he is pursuing a medical redshirt according to Crepea. In his talk with the media, Bittle declared his intention to return to Oregon in the fall.

“This is my place. I can’t leave.”

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire