Jordan Henriquez, Will Spradling hope to be near full strength at Big 12 Tournament


A back injury limited Jordan Henriquez to 10 minutes of playing time against Oklahoma State.

A bruised sternum has limited Will Spradling to a total of 24 minutes in Kansas State’s past three games.

Will those injuries continue to slow them down at the Big 12 Tournament? K-State basketball coach Bruce Weber is hopeful both players will be be near full strength when they return to the court this week, but he was unable to predict how much action they will see at the Sprint Center.

That depends on how well they respond to practice and treatment leading up to Thursday’s game against Texas or TCU.

Henriquez got off to a good start by practicing on Monday after complaining that his back “went out” in Stillwater.

“Backs are funny things,” Weber said. “They kind of pop in and pop out pretty quickly. These are problems he’s had since he’s been here. This is not new. It’s just bad timing. It’s happened twice this year already, maybe three times during the whole year. Hopefully we get the right treatments here in the next couple days and get him back, so he can give us some minutes this weekend.”

Spradling is a better bet. He only played 5 minutes against Baylor and was held out of the TCU game, but he returned to the lineup on Saturday and scored six points in 19 minutes.

He may not be ready to play the 28.5 minutes he averaged during the regular season, but he will definitely be on the court.

“He can’t practice live, or anything. We have just got to protect him,” Weber said Monday. “He was able to do a lot more conditioning today, shooting. He did a lot of defensive drills by himself, just getting his legs back in shape. He was dying that first half (at Oklahoma State), he was red in the face, just huffing and puffing. He really hadn’t practiced in 10 days, but I’ve said it before: He is one of our toughest guys.”

K-State could use both players in Kansas City. For now, Weber is hopeful they will both be available.