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Will PJ Washington be back Saturday? Calipari tells ESPN probably not

PJ Washington (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

CBS-TV sideline reporter Jamie Erdahl got to talk to Kentucky sophomore PJ Washington about his foot injury before the Cats routed Abilene Christian Thursday night.

“He told me his pain on a scale of 1-10 is a 10,” Erdahl said during the game.

She also said the injury was believed to be on the bottom of his foot.

Washington sprained his left foot in a SEC Tournament semifinal loss to Tennessee on Saturday. His foot was placed in a “walking boot” on Sunday and X-rays were negative before UK sent him to a specialist for a final opinion on Wednesday. On Thursday morning Calipari noted that Washington was in a “hard cast” and the player came into the arena for the game on a scooter and sat not he bench with the cast on the lower portion of his left leg.

“First of all, the option was a boot or the cast,” Calipari said after Thursday’s win. “The cast would speed up the healing, so we said, ’Put the cast on.’ Whether they’ll take it off tomorrow to check it, I don’t know.

“If they don’t, he won’t play Saturday, and then they’ll probably try to take it off Tuesday or Wednesday of next week to see how his foot feels.

“Everything was negative as far as the X-rays, but they just want — it was a sprained foot, so they just want to keep it calm, so that’s what it is.”

Yet in an interview with ESPN outside the UK locker room, Calipari said he didn’t think Washington would play Saturday.

Vaughtsviews.com photographer Vicky Graff noted that Washington was walking along the bench during the game and laughing enjoying the game with his teammates considering the pain he was said to be in.

Kentucky senior Reid Travis, who missed five games with a sprained knee, had 18 points and nine rebounds in Thursday’s win but said it was “tough” not having Washington.

“He makes our team better all season. We feel like we play off of each other really well, but I feel like with my injury a couple weeks back, guys had to step up and fit into different roles and really just build their confidence,” Travis said.

“Unfortunately he’s out and we’re happy to have him back when he gets healthy and all that, but we had guys build their confidence over the last couple of weeks with me being out. Guys stepped up and we were able to play good minutes.”

Happy to have him back when he gets healthy? To me, that didn’t sound like Travis is real confident about having him back for Saturday’s game. Then again, maybe I am reading way too much into a simple comment.

10 comments

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  1. I’m not sure we can beat Wofford without him. Charles Barkley seems to think we can. We will see.

  2. Anybody really think that Wofford will not be a handful? l loften wondered during the season and more so watching Wofford tonight, how amazing that these smaller schools can get these big guys with shoulders that can shoot from outside, and we get stuck with these bean poles that can’t.

  3. Not very choice of words talking about our cats. If you don’t like what you see jump to our arch rival Louisville . YOU DON’T CALL OUT OUR PLAYERS IN CERTAIN TERMS OF HATEFUL WORDS.

  4. The question with Wofford is can we or will we guard the 3 point shooters? I thought we played much better without PJ than we ever did without Reid.

    1. If Travis gets in foul trouble it will be tough, and without Washington UK could be in for a battle. Wofford is the real deal. One of the best 3 point shooting teams I have watched this season. They don’t back down, they come to play. That big center they have is a load, and a warrior.

  5. Any team that has won 21 straight games at any level is the real deal. Why can’t we get guys that are big and have good skills and warrior like mentalities. More good teams have them than don’t. Where has just long and lean gotten us last few years. Cats79…Nick and EJ are major disappointments and apparently the coaching staff has not been able to improve or motivate them.

  6. Mike, some players just takes time to develop the way they should be playing. I think EJ has come along fine for the most part as far Nick he still needs work he shows flashes of what he can do at times. For the mean time give them credit what they do on the defense side, if it wasn’t for there wing span we wouldn’t have half the blocks that they have provided

    1. Common Cats 79….. Neither one have shown any improvement since being here after 1-2 seasons and hundreds of practices, 5* players are not supposed to be 1 dimensional EJ can snag a rebound and Nick can block a shot and shoot FT. Are there 2 other 5* bigs in all of NCAA that have under achieved like these 2?

  7. It’s hard to understand why a player like Washington, who has undoubtedly suffered a number of bumps and bruises over the years, would rate a foot sprain as a “10” on the pain scale. The pain scale is subjective, to say the least, but I find it hard to believe that someone suffering intense “10” pain would be joking around on the bench.

    1. Bingo Hornet1.

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