IOWA CITY, Ia. — Junior Hawkeyes forward Nicholas Baer will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken left pinky finger, the team announced Monday. He sustained the injury during practice last weekend and will not need surgery.
"Nicholas has played great in preseason practices, and this is an unfortunate setback," Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said in a press release. "We expect Nicholas to make a full recovery and look forward to him rejoining his teammates on the court soon."
Baer went scoreless in nine minutes in Iowa's first exhibition against William Jewell. He scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in 13 minutes in the second exhibition against Belmont Abbey.
It's a temporary blow for Iowa. Baer was one of the Big Ten's top reserves last season and figures to take on a bigger role this season. But the Hawkeyes do have plenty of depth inside.
Iowa opens its regular season Friday at 8 p.m. against Chicago State. If Baer is out for only three weeks, he'll miss the Cayman Islands Basketball Classic and a potential game against preseason No. 13 Cincinnati. But he would be back in time for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Virginia Tech and for the Big Ten Conference opener against Penn State.
Again, that's if the recovery takes just three weeks. If it takes four (or more), Baer's status for the Big Ten opener will be in jeopardy.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.