Fredrick Sore From Time Off, But He Wants To Keep Playing

Iowa's CJ Fredrick is expected to be in the starting lineup for Friday's game against Michigan. (Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

CJ Fredrick woke up on Wednesday morning and was hurting.

It wasn’t just his left foot. It was his entire body.

The Iowa guard played 31 minutes in Tuesday’s 75-62 win at Northwestern, his first game in 10 days.

That kind of game action can take a bit of a toll from someone who hadn't seen a lot of court time.

“When I woke up yesterday, it wasn’t really that my foot was sore,” Fredrick said on Thursday. “It was just I haven’t really practiced in two weeks, and then I went and played 31 minutes. My body was like, everything was sore. It wasn’t that my foot was sore. Everything was sore.”

Fredrick had missed two games and hadn’t practiced since suffering a stress reaction in his left foot. He wasn’t sure he could go on Tuesday until the night before, when he did a little work in the Hawkeyes’ practice at Northwestern. Once he felt fine in pre-game warmups, Fredrick was back in the starting lineup.

“If I’m good to go, I’m going to go,” Fredrick said. “It’s like my dad says, every day you get on the court is a blessing, when you see people with career-ending injuries and all that. You can’t think like that. You’re playing the game you love every day. You have to keep that for what it is.”

Now it’s a question of whether Fredrick can stay healthy.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said during his weekly press conference that Fredrick’s foot was “good” after playing on Tuesday night.

“You hope it remains that way moving forward,” McCaffery said. “But so far, so good.”

Fredrick sat out the second half of the Jan. 4 loss at Penn State with the injury, then was on the sidelines, wearing a walking boot on his left foot, for games at Nebraska and at home against Maryland.

Fredrick said he no longer has to wear the boot, and he has orthotics to wear in his shoes.

Fredrick said he has had injuries before, but, “Never really anything like this, where there’s so much uncertainty.”

“We have a great training staff, great doctors,” Fredrick added. “They’re never going to put me in a situation where I can harm myself. They have their best interest in me, and I have confidence in them.”

The Nebraska game was especially frustrating. The Huskers packed their defense to shut down center Luka Garza, giving the Hawkeyes open 3-point shots. Iowa was just 4-of-33 in 3-pointers for the game.

“It was, for sure, frustrating, because I knew if they weren’t going to guard me, that I would probably be able to make a couple of shots,” said Fredrick, a 49.1-percent 3-point shooter this season. “I know in this league I’m probably not going to get a lot of open looks from three. I was just like, ‘Wow, of course I would miss that game.’”

His hope is to not miss any more this season.

“I can play at less (than 100 percent),” Fredrick said. “Preferably, I would like to play at a hundred percent. But that’s just not going to happen a lot. If I feel good to go, and the doctors don’t think I’m going to potentially hurt it worse, I’m going to play.”