Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell shares injury update ahead of Elite Eight game

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Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle

Markquis Nowell did not look like an injured basketball player as he walked around Madison Square Garden following a closed practice on Friday afternoon.

The senior point guard might not have been at full strength a day after he rolled his ankle during a 98-93 victory over Michigan State in a Sweet 16 game. But Nowell has no concerns about his health as he prepares a much-anticipated game against Florida Atlantic on Saturday in the Elite Eight.

“My ankle feels good,” Nowell said. “I would say it’s about 85 to 90%. I’ve been doing treatment and rehab all night.”

In some ways, that was more stressful than the game he played on Thursday night. Fortunately, he was high on adrenaline after leading the Wildcats to a thrilling victory in his hometown with 20 points, 19 assists and five steals.

He tried to return as many text messages as he could while he worked to strengthen his right ankle. But that was a difficult task, considering he received close to 300.

“It was a bunch of ice,” Nowell said. “A lot elevation and a bunch of movement. Then sleep.”

That was nothing new for Nowell. He took ice baths after each of K-State’s first two NCAA Tournament victories even when he wasn’t injured. He takes excellent care of his body.

“He’s always been big on recovery, big on hydration, big on eating right,” sophomore guard Cam Carter said. “He is one of a kind. I’ve never been around somebody like that.”

Nowell practiced with his teammates on Friday. He may not have been at full strength, but he was close to it.

K-State coach Jerome Tang described the injury as a “tweaked ankle.” No one seems to be worried about it.

“Markquis is fine,” junior forward Ismael Massoud said. “He’s a warrior. He’s not going to let a little ankle tweak bother him.”