Iowa basketball coach Steve Alford says senior guard Jeff Horner will return to the starting lineup Friday night when the Hawkeyes close out their pre-conference schedule at St. Louis University. Horner has missed the last four games after injuring his knee late in regulation in a December sixth loss at U-N-I. He says he got word before the break that Horner would be able to come back Monday. Alford says Horner has responded well in practice thus far.

Alford says Horner did all but about 20 minutes of practice and looks and feels pretty good. Alford says Horner will wear a brace on his knee for about six weeks. He says the brace will help if Horner lands on the knee or gets hit again, it will give the ligament more time to fully heal.

Horner has averaged 33-minutes of playing time so far this season and Alford says he is not sure how many he will play on Friday. He says they may have to give Horner more rest than normal, or he says they’ll have to see if it’s better to keep him in and keep the knee moving. The Hawks are 10-3 and after that game will open the Big Ten race at Wisconsin on January fifth.