Iowa forward Nicholas Baer goes through introductions during a men's basketball exhibition game between Iowan and William Jewell College in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cardinals, 105-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Nicholas Baer sidelined with broken bone

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The reigning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken bone in his pinky.

By Adam Hensley | adam-hensley@uiowa.edu

Iowa basketball forward Nicholas Baer will be out 3-4 weeks with a broken bone in his left pinky finger, the program announced Monday evening.

Baer, a junior from Bettendorf, will not need surgery after his injury, according to a release. The injury happened over the weekend in practice.

“Nicholas has played great in preseason practices and this is an unfortunate setback,” head coach Fran McCaffery said in a release. “We expect Nicholas to make a full recovery and look forward to him rejoining his teammates on the court soon.”

Baer is one of Iowa’s co-captains and also the 2016-17 Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year. He put up 7.5 points and led the Hawkeyes in rebounds (5.8), steals (1.4), and blocks (1.3) last season in 34 games (10 starts). Baer was the only player in Division 1 basketball last season to score 250 points, record 45 steals, make 45 3-pointers, and block at least 40 shots in a single season; he was the first Big Ten player in the past 25 years to accomplish that feat in a single season.

Baer’s injury presents McCaffery with yet another lineup predicament. The coach said after his team’s win over Belmont Abbey on Nov. 2 that he liked Baer coming off the bench. McCaffery opted to start forward Ahmad Wagner at the 3, so it’s not unreasonable to believe Iowa will go with the same starting five as it did in the final exhibition contest.

Baer did, however, bring intensity off the bench – as his conference honor would suggest – and it’ll be challenging for the Hawkeyes to find ‘that guy’ on the second unit.

Iowa tips off its regular season on Nov. 10 against Chicago State at 8:05 p.m.

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