Dana Altman has had no choice but to rely on guard Will Richardson for heavy minutes this season. The Ducks have battled injury and inconsistency as they’ve stumbled to a 15-13 record.

Meanwhile, Richardson has played the most minutes of anyone in the Pac-12. He averages 36.3 a night. Only two players at the high-major level have averaged more minutes a night for their respective teams.

Richardson played 76 of a possible 85 minutes last weekend against Washington and Washington State — including 43 in the overtime loss to UW. He played the full 40 against Arizona in early February and 38 against UCLA the following week.

And he’s done so while battling a litany of injuries.

“He’s banged up a little bit. He didn’t practice yesterday, didn’t practice today,” Altman said of Richardson when he met with reporters on Thursday. “Hopefully he’ll be able to go a little bit on Saturday.”

Despite the 43 minutes against Washington, Richardson was held scoreless. He didn’t turn the ball over and registered five assists, but only took three shots. He scored eight points against Wazzu last Sunday, but only took four shots. Richardson also hasn’t taken a free throw attempt in any of the Ducks’ last three games.

“We’ve put a lot on Will for a long time there, has he been up and down? Yeah, and he’d be the first one to be his own critic,” said Altman. “He’s disappointed he hasn’t done more. He had mono last year and played a few games with it before we figured out what he had. He’s played with a bad hand, a bad finger, and a bad hip. He tries to push through. We’ve had other guys not playing well so I’ve stayed with him. If anyone wants to blame someone, blame me for playing him too much.

“… Guys respect the fact that he’s trying to play hurt. They know he’s not healthy. Guys respect work ethic. They respect talent. They know who is working hard and who’s not. They know who is invested and who’s not.”

Oregon plays Oregon State on the road on Saturday (7 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Network). Richardson and the Ducks will look to halt a three-game losing streak.