Injured Purdue center Isaac Haas has elbow brace cleared by NCAA

The NCAA has cleared the path for Purdue's Isaac Haas to play Friday night when his team faces Texas Tech with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line.

But that doesn't mean he will.

Although the NCAA announced Friday that it had altered the interpretation of a rule to allow Haas, who fractured his elbow in the first round against CSU-Fullerton, to compete with an approved brace and left the final decision with Purdue, coach Matt Painter is still not convinced Haas is fit to play.

Painter told ESPN on Friday morning that the NCAA's move has not altered the status of the 7-foot-2 center, who earned all-Big Ten third-team honors this season and is averaging 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

"He needs to show he can do basic things to play," Painter said via text. "[He] has not been able to do those things."

But if Painter decides to use Haas, who missed Purdue's second-round win over Butler, he can.

NCAA Rule 1-26.2 prohibits the use of any non-pliable substance in a brace. A group of Purdue engineers worked this week to create a brace that fits NCAA guidelines.

"With ample time this week to review the intent of the playing rule, the [rules] committee decided to provide a more contemporary interpretation while keeping health and safety for all players the highest priority," NCAA's senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said, according to NCAA.com. "Technology has improved materials used in braces, so now there will be more flexibility in applying the rule as long as the brace is fully covered and padded. Isaac and other players in similar circumstances should be able to play, as long as the brace is safe for all."

Haas has been a pivotal player for Purdue all season.

The Boilermakers have made 54 percent of their shots inside the arc and 43 percent of their 3-pointers with Haas on the floor this season, per hooplens.com. Matt Haarms, the 7-foot-3 freshman who has replaced Haas in the lineup, finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 29 minutes of Purdue's 76-73 victory over Butler in the second round.