Kansas State University

K-State guard Cartier Diarra out indefinitely for Wildcats because of ‘freak’ injury

The Kansas State basketball team will be without one of its top reserves for at least a few games as it continues to push for a Big 12 championship.

Cartier Diarra, a 6-foot-4 sophomore guard, didn’t make the trip to Austin for K-State’s 71-64 win over Texas because of an injured hand that required surgery, K-State coach Bruce Weber said Tuesday night.

Weber described the injury as “a freak accident.” He’s not yet sure how long Diarra will be sidelined, but he underwent surgery on Tuesday.

“It was just a freak accident,” Weber said. “It just (stinks). It (stinks) for him and it’s sad. It’s really sad. But it is what it is. I used to get so angry, but after what we have been through the last few years it’s just, ‘Hey guys, somebody else step up and do it.’ That’s all you can do.”

Weber is unsure how long Diarra will be sidelined, but he could see him playing again this season under the right circumstances.

“We hope maybe by the end of the year,” Weber said. “We will see. We are just hoping and praying for a quick recovery. Maybe we will get him back.”

K-State defeated Texas without Diarra. But the injury comes at an unfortunate time for player and team. Diarra has come on strong of late, playing like one of K-State’s top performers over the past four games. He has averaged 11.3 points, three assists and 2.5 rebounds during that stretch, delivering some memorable highlights along the way like a windmill dunk against Kansas and a jaw-dropping assist at Baylor.

Diarra played in the first 23 games for the Wildcats this season. He was averaging 6.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

The Wildcats turned to sophomore guard Mike McGuirl and freshman Shaun Neal-Williams in Diarra’s absence on Tuesday.

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Kellis Robinett covers Kansas State athletics for The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star. A winner of more than a dozen national writing awards, he lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.