Iowa's CJ Fredrick could miss extended time with foot injury; Fran McCaffery won't rush him back

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

LINCOLN, Neb. — Iowa guard CJ Fredrick wore a boot around his lower left leg during pregame warmups Tuesday night, taking consoling slaps of the hand and hugs from his family members as they entered Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The sharpshooting freshman was ruled out of Tuesday's game against Nebraska with a stress reaction in his left foot. And although the university says Fredrick is officially "day to day," it's probably more like week to week.

After Iowa's 76-70 loss to Nebraska, coach Fran McCaffery vowed that he would be careful not to rush Fredrick back to the court, even though the Hawkeyes clearly need him.

CJ Fredrick (with boot) is greeted by teammate Connor McCaffery before Tuesday's game against Nebraska.

"The only thing I can expect is what the trainers and doctors tell me. Is he cleared to play? Is he not cleared to play?" McCaffery said. "I will not put him out there under any risk. At some point, if we’ve got to shut him down, we’ll shut him down. Right now, it’s still day to day. Until they tell me otherwise, that’s how we’ll go with it."

The reason McCaffery is floating the possibility of having to shut down Fredrick for an extended period is because stress reactions are precursors to stress fractures. A stress reaction is a weakening of the bone structure; a stress fracture is an actual breakage.

So although it's presumably good news that Iowa caught it early, the only remedy for both injuries is rest.

And with 16 more Big Ten Conference games ahead in the next two months, there's not much available rest for the Hawkeyes, who return home Friday against Maryland.

For example, the Washington Wizards' Thomas Bryant was sidelined with a stress reaction on Dec. 3. He still hasn't returned to an NBA court, more than five weeks later.

With Fredrick out, Iowa (10-5, 1-3 Big Ten Conference) is down to eight available scholarship players. 

Connor McCaffery, Joe Toussaint, Joe Wieskamp, Ryan Kriener and Luka Garza started against Nebraska. The scholarship reserves were Bakari Evelyn, Cordell Pemsl and Riley Till.

Fredrick is Iowa's third-leading scorer, at 10.3 points per game, and is shooting 50% from 3-point range this season. He played the first half of Saturday's 89-86 loss against Penn State, but did not return in the second half after trainers ruled him out.