Humphries sits out Iowa game with sprained tendon in ankle

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Kris Humphries tried to warm up before Minnesota’s men’s basketball team faced Iowa on Saturday.

But 30 minutes before tip-off, Humphries was in his Gophers jumpsuit, rebounding for his teammates after officially being scratched from the lineup.

An MRI revealed a sprained tendon in his high right ankle last Friday, and the coaching staff was concerned that Humphries wouldn’t be able to move effectively.

Their concerns were warranted. During warm-ups, Humphries said he felt the injury would hamper his play.

“He felt like he couldn’t push off,” Gophers coach Dan Monson said. “He felt like changing directions was a limitation. We just didn’t want to play him if he wasn’t 100 percent, and he wasn’t 100 percent.”

The freshman is listed as day-to-day. The Gophers don’t practice until Wednesday and won’t play again until next Saturday against Penn State, allowing for some recovery time.

Humphries, averaging a Big Ten-leading 22 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, was not available for comment.

Humphries hadn’t missed a practice this season until taking last Thursday off. In addition, the Chaska, Minn., native was the only player to start all of Minnesota’s games this season.

In his absence, the Gophers went with a smaller starting lineup of Jeff Hagen, Michael Bauer, Ben Johnson, Stan Gaines and Adam Boone.

“We had to go high-risk with our size and try and kind of just spread them out,” Monson said. “I thought they did a good job of that.”

Iowa’s Pierre Pierce, for one, thought Minnesota might be a greater threat without Humphries.

“Whenever you lose a player of his caliber, other guys step it up and get it going,” Pierce said. “This might sound crazy, but I think they might even be more dangerous without him. Bauer got it going. Stan stepped it up. They are dangerous.”

Humphries originally injured the ankle in the Gophers’ win Feb. 18 at Indiana.