AMES — Iowa State point guard Nick Weiler-Babb has been dealing with tendinitis in his knee since this summer. In Iowa State’s game on Saturday against Tennessee, Weiler-Babb limped off the court late in the second half.
On Monday, Coach Steve Prohm gave an update on Weiler-Babb’s condition.
“Nick will be out at least the next week, possibly two weeks,” Prohm said. “We met with the trainer and (Weiler-Babb) and we really feel like he needs to get away and rest and see if that can help him get healthy. For at least the next two games, he’ll be out and we’ll reevaluate next week sometime.”
Weiler-Babb has been instrumental to Iowa State’s team this year. The junior is averaging 11.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game.
He leads the Cyclones in minutes with 37.4 per game, four more than the next closet player, Donovan Jackson.
“It’s just that time of the season where it’s starting to build up,” assistant director of athletic training Vic Miller said. “We’re going to take some time with him, he’ll probably be out for an extended period of time — I don’t know exactly how long. I’d expect we’re talking weeks, not days. We’ll reevaluate it as regularly as we can and continue to do treatments and make sure he’s doing ok. It affected him more on Saturday, he came out of the game and he was just about done.”
The problem for Iowa State was it was dealing with a lot of injuries earlier in the season. Jakolby Long had a concussion, Zoran Talley had a stress fracture, Hans Brase had a sprained ankle and even sit-out transfer Michael Jacobson was out with a sprained ankle.
For a while, the Cyclones couldn’t even practice 5-on-5. In Miller’s experience, the best time to hold a player out and get rest is in practice, but Iowa State couldn’t afford to do that.
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“We’ve been trying to do as much as we could, but we only have 12 guys so we’ve had a lot of issues with being able to practice with limited numbers,” Miller said. “And Nick’s a guy that’s been in every minute. It’s just taken its toll. It’s a thing that gets worse the more he does and we’ve tried to do about everything we can treatment wise and getting rest where we can.”
Miller assured the media on Monday that Weiler-Babb wasn’t tearing anything up in his knee, it just hurts when he moves.
“(He was) probably playing too many minutes,” Miller said. “Would any of us change that — Coach Prohm, Nick or me? Probably not. We have low numbers, so everybody gets a lot of reps.”
Weiler-Babb won’t be out for the season and he won’t need surgery right now. Miller said in the offseason they’ll look into surgery, but there’s not a lot that can be done besides rest.
Prohm said Lindell Wigginton and Jackson will split time at point guard while Weiler-Babb is out.
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