The BYU Cougars got encouraging news Monday afternoon when they learned injured forward Andy Toolson could well be back in the lineup this week.

Toolson, who broke his left thumb Jan. 5 at New Mexico, was fitted with a special brace for the thumb over the weekend and worked out with the team for two hours Monday. "We gave it a good test," said BYU Coach Ladell Andersen, "and I think things look good."Andersen said he will talk with doctors again on Wednesday and if there are no further problems, Toolson will be back in the starting lineup this Thursday when the Cougars take on Air Force in Colorado Springs.

Andersen said Toolson's rebounding won't likely be as good as it was before the injury, but added that his shooting is still good. "It looked very natural even with the brace," said Andersen.

The coach said he was unsure how long Toolson will need the brace, but that the thumb "looks to be healing pretty fast."