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PJ Washington has sprained foot but Calipari “expects him to play” Thursday night

John Calipari sent PJ Washington to a specialist just to make sure negative X-rays were accurate about his sprained foot. (Vicky Graff Photo)


Even though he never came out of the game with an injury, Kentucky coach John Calipari said today in Jacksonville that sophomore PJ Washington sprained his foot in the SEC Tournament semifinal loss to Tennessee Saturday.

Kentucky opens NCAA Tournament play Thursday night in Jacksonville against Abilene Christian and would play the Wofford-Seton Hall winner if it advances.

Washington did not arrive at the arena with the team for Thursday’s open practice but Calipari said X-rays and a MRI on Washington’s foot were all negative.

“We sent him to a specialist. Again, precautionary. He wants to play. If you know me, I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. Let’s go get one more level of this,'” Calipari said.

“He wants to play, so we expect him. He’s not here with us right now. He’ll probably be here in an hour or so. We sent him to a specialist to make sure that he can’t harm himself. But we expect him to play.” 

Washington did not make it to the open practice

Kentucky confirmed Monday that Washington had been in a walking boot since Sunday for precautionary reasons even though he was not wearing it during the NCAA Tournament selection show when media members were at Calipari’s home along with the team.

Abilene Christian coach Joe Golding joked that if Calipari let Washington play in a walking boot that his team “might have a chance” against Kentucky.

“If he takes the walking boot off, we’ve got a problem. He’s really good. He’s talented. He’s one of eight problems we have on their roster. They’re very, very talented,” Golding said. “I honestly — I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’re still trying to figure that out.

“He’s an incredible talent. If he’s making shots and he’s scoring the ball on the block, then he’s really tough to defend. So we’ve got to try to force him away from the rim as much as we can, but that’s easier said than done. You’ve got four other pros on the floor with him, too.

“We’ve got our hands full on that and still trying to figure that out. If you’ve got any ideas, I’d love for you to share them with me, man. You’ve probably seen them a little more than I have.”



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  1. There’s news report that Cal may be interesting of accepting the UCLA job. I don’t like the timing of this breaking out at this time.

    1. Cats79 along with Tony Bennett, Bill Self, Thad Motta, and others, etc. etc. Is the rumor true? Who knows. I will say that Calipari seems at times distracted, and seemingly not his usual cocky self before the media of late IMO. He looks tired and under great stress to me now. That said, I think it is probably just BS. But this UK job is a meat grinder, especially with his system of beginning every year with a new team. If UK can win No. 9, I think he stays. If UK gets knocked out of the NCAA tournament early, he might just want a change of scenery if the money is right. Other considerations, his incoming UK class, and his loyalty to Barnhart and UK. I say he stays.

  2. True Pup, looking forward to tomorrow game.

  3. Frankly, I think Cal wants to get as far away from Krzyshitski as he possibly can.
    Krzyshitski is punking him at every turn and LA would put more distance between them.

  4. You might be on to something Hornet. Duke would not be as heavily involved in west coast recruiting and Calapari could once again be the man on that side of the country. I think Pup has a point too. Cal does look beleaguered. 10 years at UK can do that to anyone. He has always said he would stay here until Brad graduated, so that would keep him here at least 2 more years. He has finally started acting like a coach the past month…why can’t he do that all year?

  5. As for PJ, he is going to be on cruise control the first half anyway, but that will be enough to tell if the foot is going to be an issue going forward. We shouldn’t need him tonight, but he will need to be healthy for the rest of the run, if there’s going to be a run.

  6. Amazing how quick things can change. Yesterday Cal said he would be playing, and today he said he wasn’t. Vanderbilt timely! I believe it was EJ that said he has been preparing for this all season. This should be interesting.

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