By LARRY VAUGHT
Just when Big Blue Nation was getting its NCAA swag back, John Calipari had to ruin it Wednesday — or at least slow it way down.
Sophomore PJ Washington tweeted a video of him in tennis shoes — with no cast on the left foot — shortly before noon. The video had almost 400,000 views in the next four hours.
Even Calipari retweeted the video with this comment: “Uh oh.” Most UK fans took that as a warning to future foes that Washington would be back for Friday’s game against Houston after missing UK’s two NCAA tourney wins last week with a foot injury.
However, then Calipari went on Jim Rome’s national radio show and said he didn’t know if Washington would play or not.
“He didn’t practice today. He is out of his cast,” Calipari told Rome. “He is moving around. Will he play? It’s day to day. I am hoping he gets some (practice) time so we can see where he is.”
A little bit later WKYT-TV had video of Washington wearing a walking boot on his left foot as the team left UK for Kansas City where it will play Friday night.
If that’s not enough to make you a little less optimistic about Washington’s status for Friday night, former UK All-American Mike Pratt — now the analyst for the UK Radio Network — was on ESPN 680 in Louisville and was not very optimistic about Washington playing. He noted the obvious — just because the cast is off is no guarantee he will play.
Think back to last year when Kansas State beat Kentucky 61-58 in the Sweet Sixteen. One of K-State’s key players, Dean Wade, had been injured and tried to come back. He played just eight minutes and had four points, one rebound and one steal but could not play defense — and was beaten several times by PJ Washington. He was averaging 16 points per game but played just those eight minutes in K-State’s four NCAA games.