Weber optimistic about Diarra's return

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KWCH) -- Cartier Diarra underwent successful surgery Wednesday on his shooting hand, after suffering a "freak accident" to his thumb this week.

Bruce Weber updated the media Thursday and said Diarra is healing properly and is optimistic about a return before the season ends.

“Everything went fine. We’ve just got to hope that he comes back sooner than later," He said. "I talked this morning, he came back from the ACL, probably 2-3 months faster than anyone else has ever done. But bones are different, I guess, then tendons, ligaments, all that stuff. We’ll hope for him."

Diarra is still recovering from surgery and is not yet at the rehabilitation stage.

"Got to wait a few days before he can do anything, but just for the surgery to settle and everything in his body get back and then get him working out, trying to stay in shape the best he can," Weber said. "Hope he’s able to give us something at the end of the year.”

Weber felt like the team galvanized around Diarra's absence Tuesday night and played more like a unit than he's seen in the eight previous wins.

"I think maybe Carti’s injury actually helped us get ready for Texas. Now everyone had to man-up and step-up," he said. "Now, we’ll see how they are Saturday. I hope they know the importance of the game and anyone can beat anybody on any given day."

No. 18 Kansas State hosts No. 23 Iowa State Saturday at 3:00. The Wildcats are 9-2 in Big 12 play, riding a nine-game win streak in conference. The Wildcats previously beat the Cyclones 58-57 in Ames this past January on a last-second layup from Barry Brown.