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At least it comes early in the season?

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


Nick Baer injured his pinky during practice and will miss 3-4 weeks, according to this release from HawkeyeSports that dropped late Monday afternoon. Word on the street is that it’s a fracture.

Thankfully, the injury will not require surgery, and if I had to guess, based on my medical background (none), Baer will return to the court sooner than we anticipate.

A quote from Fran:

"Nicholas has played great in preseason practices and this is an unfortunate setback. We expect Nicholas to make a full recovery and look forward to him rejoining his teammates on the court soon."

Not much of substance there, but there you have it, regardless. While an injury is never good, especially for someone like Baer who some say is the heart and soul of this Hawkeyes squad, this seems relatively minor and the timeline seems relatively precautionary. I can’t help but wonder if the timeline for his return would be different if we were deeper into the season and the Hawks were right on the bubble for a tournament run.

The injury will certainly play a role in McCaffery’s lineups; I certainly expect that freshman Jack Nunge will be the benefactor of a few more minutes because of this, and I’m all about the youth getting more experience in times like this. The future is now, next man know the drill.

Like I said above, this is a manageable timeline for Baer’s return; we’ll probably see him back for the Big Ten opener against Penn State on Dec. 2, or maybe even at Virginia Tech on Nov. 28 for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge if everything goes ahead of schedule. As long as he’s not rushed back, this seems like a pretty minor injury.

We’re hoping for the best, Nick! Who knows, maybe he’ll be a really good member of the Bench Celebration crew.

We’ll have to see for ourselves on Friday night when the squad opens up the regular season at 8 CST against Chicago State.