IOWA CITY, Iowa - The outlook for a pair of Iowa seniors' availability for Saturday's showdown with No. 5 Wisconsin looked a lot better Thursday than it had earlier in the week.
Captain Aaron White said he will be in action after suffering a severe stinger last Saturday against Purdue. Classmate Gabe Olaseni, a reserve center, said he twisted his ankle in practice on Monday but will be on the floor against the Badgers.
White has been out of practice since leaving the Purdue game for good in the first half. He said he would miss Thursday's workout, too, but planned to return on Friday.
Olaseni said he was going to go lightly in Thursday's practice and pick up the pace on Friday. Someone shot a photo of him wearing a walking boot on a bus Tuesday but he said he was out of it a day later and it was just to keep weight off of it.
"I went to block a shot and I came down on my ankle, so I just rolled it," Olaseni said. "I'm going to be ready for the game. I feel fine it's just I tweaked my ankle. The whole boot thing was just precautionary. It was just the right thing to do to wear the boot."
Olaseni, who averages 8.5 points and 5.4 rebounds, said a teammate showed him the picture of him riding a bus with the boot. It caused a stir. He was unaware that somebody was photographing him.
"It was interesting that people care so much. That was kind of cool, I guess," he said.
White, who leads the team in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (6.6), said that the trainers have developed a padded device that fits in his shirt, will cover his injury and help protect it. The Ohio native has played in every game as a Hawkeye, including starting each contest the last two years. He planned for that to continue against the Badgers (11 a.m., ESPN).
"I always want to be there for my teammates. I always want to be there for my coaches. I take a lot of pride in playing for my school and my family and myself. It's big that I never missed a game and I'm going to continue that on Saturday," he said.
White said he will not play if it puts him in jeopardy of missing an extended amount of time.
"We have a lot of basketball left in the season so I don't want to risk anything but they don't think I'm risking anything. If I can practice, I can play and I'm going to be out there," he said.
See what else White and Olaseni said about their injuries and their status in this video: