Update 11:31 a.m. Bates has been declared out for today’s game vs. UConn.
The Butler Bulldogs travel to face the No. 15 UConn Huskies on Sunday and likely will be shorthanded as center Manny Bates deals with a knee injury. Tipoff is set for noon ET on Fox in Storrs. The Huskies are a 15-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Bates suffered a knee injury against St. John’s on January 10 and has since had a procedure to fix the problem. He has missed the last two games and head coach Thad Matta suggested it might be an extended absence, per the Indy Star. Matta said the team hopes to have Bates back for the “stretch run of the season.” That’s a fairly subjective term but would seem to indicate a February return.
At the time of his injury, Bates was leading the team with 12.6 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game, as well as nearly two blocks per game. Jalen Thomas has replaced Bates in the starting lineup. Over the past two starts, Thomas has averaged 10.5 points, 6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.