MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota center Ralph Sampson III could miss the Big Ten tournament because of a knee injury.

Coach Tubby Smith said Wednesday that Sampson "tweaked" one of his knees in practice Monday and has not participated the last two days. Smith said he wasn't sure if Sampson would be able to play Thursday in Minnesota's first-round game against Northwestern. If he can't, freshman Elliott Eliason will start in his place.

The good news for the Gophers is that point guard Julian Welch will play after recovering from a hip injury that kept him out of the last 2 1/2 games.

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