Nagging foot injury continues to slow St. John forward.
Bruce Weber doesn’t expect Kansas State forward Dean Wade to play in the Big 12 Tournament later this week at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
“We probably doubt he will be in the Big 12 Tournament,” Weber said Monday. “But you never know. We are hoping for the best. But, at the same time, we want, if possible, to have him healthy down the road.”
Weber downgraded Wade to doubtful a day after listing him as questionable because of “dis- comfort in his foot.” Weber said Wade “tweaked his foot” on Saturday late in the first half of a 68-53 victory over Oklahoma.
Wade, a senior, sat out the final moments of the first half and was evaluated at halftime. He was cleared to play in the second half and finished the game with 11 points and seven rebounds.
He played 33 minutes and seemed healthy while celebrating the team’s Big 12 championship afterward.
But he experienced discomfort in his foot later that night and still felt pain Sunday morning. He is now in a walking boot and unlikely to practice this week.
“We will just have to evaluate him and see how he does,” Weber said, “as the rest of the week goes on.”
Weber was unable to provide a firm timetable for Wade’s recovery. It’s unclear if he will be able to play in the NCAA Tournament.
“We will just kind of watch how he makes progress over this next stretch,” Weber said. “He has had some issues all year and even going back to last year. His health long term is the most important thing for us.”
Wade is averaging 12.9 points and 6.2 assists this season.
If he is unable to play for the Wildcats in Kansas City, and perhaps beyond, that would put a damper on what has been a terrific season for both Wade and K-State.
On Sunday, Wade be- came the first K-State basketball player since Jacob Pullen to earn All-Big 12 first team honors in back- to-back seasons.
K-State will be the No. 1 seed at the Big 12 Tournament. Its first game is about 2 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals against TCU or Oklahoma State, who will play in the opening round Wednesday night.
Wade coincidentally sustained a stress fracture in his foot in K-State’s first game of the Big 12 Tournament last season and was limited the rest of the
way. He saw eight minutes during a Sweet 16 victory over Kentucky but missed K-State’s other three games in the NCAA Tournament.
He was sidelined for six games earlier this season because of a torn ligament in his foot and has battled foot pain recently. He played on a limited basis in late February but seemed back at full strength this month.
Wade isn’t the only K- State player battling health issues at the moment.
Starting point guard Kamau Stokes is also currently unfit to practice because of nagging mi- graines.
Weber said Stokes had to go to the hospital with a severe headache following the OU game on Saturday.
“I don’t know if it was the lights on the court or the celebration or the confetti,” Weber said. “I don’t know what happened.”
Stokes played one of his best games against Oklahoma, finishing with 19 points and six assists. He told Weber before the game he felt the best he had in a long time. He also texted Weber on Sunday to say he was feeling better.
Weber expects him to play in the Big 12 Tournament.
“We will probably hold him out today,” Weber said, “and hope we can get him going on Tuesday.”
K-State is also hoping to get Cartier Diarra, a key reserve, back in the lineup this week. The sophomore guard has missed the past eight games with a broken finger on his shooting hand but could be cleared to play this week.