And his status remains unclear.
Buckner hasn't played in 10 days since leaving the Auburn game for the final 8 minutes, 36 seconds with a sprained ankle.
The Rebels could use his defensive presence in the post as they take on Alabama at 5 p.m., today at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Buckner is "almost back to 100 percent, but we don't want to jeopardize him from a stability standpoint. It could have long-term effects until he's ready. But my hope is he'll be able to play," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said.
Buckner, a 6-foot-9 Memphis native, adapted to the defensive end of college basketball quickly but had begun to make strides as a rebounder and scorer. He was getting just more than 20 minutes a game and had scored 16 points with 15 rebounds in his last two games.
The Rebels (16-6, 4-4 SEC) have struggled to guard in the paint the last two games, both losses, giving up a combined 41 points at home to Arkansas post players Mike Washington and Marshawn Powell, then watching Kentucky freshman DeMarcus Cousins gets 18 points and 13 rebounds.
The strength for Ole Miss this season has never been post play, and Kennedy believes his team can get back on track if guards Chris Warren and Terrico White lead the way. They've rarely hit peak performance in the same game.
White carried the Rebels in the second half at Auburn but vanished against Arkansas. He was on again at Kentucky, but Warren, 5-10, had trouble against the bigger Kentucky backcourt.
"Every game, teams are keying on me and Chris so much, it makes me change my game all the way around. Coach Kennedy told me to take 24 shots, but I only took half. I made most of them. That game, I was more aggressive than I was in previous games," said White, who was 7-for-13 from the floor for 19 points at Kentucky.
Warren was 4-for-8 from 3-point range, but two of those makes came after the game was well in hand for the Wildcats.
Kennedy said White lacked aggression against Arkansas. While he found it in Lexington, his post-game comments - saying he and his teammates were "scared" at the outset against No. 3 Kentucky - showed a timid mindset.
"That's really not what you want your all-league player saying," Kennedy said. "I still think the strength of our team is in our backcourt. Our guys who got the preseason all-league votes need to get the postseason all-league votes for our team to be successful. That's just who we are."