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.