FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Mike Anderson got the first-look at his 2011-12 team during its four-game Italian tour.

It also provided forward Marshawn Powell a chance to take another important step on his way back from last November’s season-ending knee injury.

Powell played in three of Arkansas’ four games during the overseas trip, logging his first game time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Powell practiced with the team throughout their pre-trip workout sessions and was healthy enough to log playing time in Italy.

“It was good to have Marshawn on the floor,” Anderson said. “I thought he kind of got the cobwebs out. The last game he started really exerting himself. Sometimes when you’re playing, mentally there’s that thing in the back of your mind, what can happen? And I thought he kind of let loose, so that was very valuable.”

Powell scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in the final game of the trip, according to Hawgs Illustrated.

Anderson believes getting Powell back on the floor also was “huge” for his team. He said players fed off the forward’s return as they began preparing for the season.

“He's looking good,” Arkansas guard BJ Young said. “That's one person I am not really worried about because he works hard. He wants to show everyone he can come back from an injury.”

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau