Kansas State University

Dean Wade’s injury status remains unclear as K-State prepares for NCAA Tournament

Bruce Weber provides an injury update on K-State forward Dean Wade

Bruce Weber provides an injury update on K-State forward Dean Wade
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Bruce Weber provides an injury update on K-State forward Dean Wade

Kansas State basketball fans are all asking the same question as the Wildcats begin preparations for their first game of the NCAA Tournament against UC Irvine on Friday.

Will Dean Wade be healthy enough to play?

For now, K-State coach Bruce Weber doesn’t have the answer.

“He says he feels better,” Weber said. “He’s not in as much pain as he was. I told you he has done treatment. He did it today twice. We will see what the doctor says and see if we can make some progress as the week goes on.”

Kansas State Wildcats senior forward Dean Wade was in a walking boot as he headed to the floor at the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday, March 14, 2019.

Wade, a senior forward, skipped the Big 12 Tournament last week after injuring his right foot in the regular-season finale against Oklahoma. K-State listed Wade as questionable for the event at the beginning of the week and Weber downgraded to Wade doubtful when the team arrived in Kansas City.

He was in attendance for both of K-State’s games at Sprint Center, but Wade was nothing more than a spectator while wearing a walking boot on the bench.

Wade didn’t practice at all last week and spent the majority of his time with trainers receiving treatment on his injured right foot.

It’s unclear what type of injury Wade is dealing with (Weber has been intentionally vague about it), but the Wildcats are holding out hope that he will be ready to take the court on Friday.

“You want him to be a part of it,” Weber said. “You just kind of hope and pray for him. It’s been a tough stretch.”

The Wildcats might soon have a better idea on Wade’s status. Weber said Wade was scheduled to meet with doctors and have his right foot thoroughly examined on Monday. The results of that check up could provide answers.

Weber spoke to media for about 10 minutes Monday morning, but said Wade had not yet met with doctors at that time.

“Hopefully he’s making some progress,” Weber said. “Then we will see where he is at.”

This is a familiar position for Wade. He only saw eight minutes of action during K-State’s run to the Elite Eight last season after suffering a stress reaction in his left foot at the 2018 Big 12 Tournament.

Wade dressed for all four of K-State’s games in the NCAA Tournament, but he only played against Kentucky in the Sweet 16.

He has also had lingering foot issues this season. Wade missed six games with a torn ligament in his foot before returning to the lineup and helping the Wildcats share a Big 12 championship with Texas Tech.

Wade is averaging 12.9 points and 6.2 assists this season.

If he is unable to play for the Wildcats in San Jose this week, that would put a damper on what has been a terrific season for both Wade and K-State.

Wade is the first K-State basketball player since Jacob Pullen to earn All-Big 12 first team honors in back-to-back seasons.

The Wildcats started Big 12 play 0-2 without him on the floor and finished 14-2 with Wade starting.

Weber hopes a 1 p.m. Friday tip will give Wade enough time to recover and play in the NCAA Tournament. But he is also making contingency plans, should the Wildcats need to play without him.

“We’ve been through it,” Weber said. “We’ve been through it this year. He didn’t play five, six games and a couple of the games after that he played 15-20 minutes. We won at Iowa State with him playing minimal minutes and scoring two points. The only thing is with this team, they are big. Playing TCU and Iowa State, it was small-ball. Austin (Trice) and Levi (Stockard), they are probably going to have to come through for us.”

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