Dean Wade may not be available to help Kansas State this weekend, but he's getting closer.
K-State basketball coach Bruce Weber said Thursday that Wade, the Wildcats' 6-foot-10 All-Big 12 forward, has progressed with his foot injury to the point that he is ready to step on the practice court.
"He's going to practice a little bit today, and then we'll just see how he does," Weber said during the Big 12 coaches teleconference. "That's kind of, I guess, the next step."
Wade, the Wildcats' second-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game and top rebounder with a 7.8 average, tore a tendon in his foot on Dec. 15 against Georgia State and has missed the last six games.
"He's done workouts, he's done running, he's done walking (and) he's done jumping in water, so now get him on the court and practice a little bit," Weber said. "I don't want to say yes or no, but we're moving forward.
"So hopefully if there's no major setback here I would say in the next to week or 10 days, we hope to have him back."
The Wildcats, 11-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, are 4-2 in Wade's absence after rallying from 21-point deficit Wednesday night to beat West Virginia, 71-69. They travel to Ames, Iowa, to face Iowa State at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Wade missed most of the postseason last year, including the Wildcats' run to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, with a stress fracture in the other foot. But he was the lone returning first-team all-conference player after averaging 16.2 points and 6.2 rebounds as a junior, and last fall was voted Big 12 preseason player of the year.