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Nate Sestina to miss approximately four weeks after fracturing left wrist in practice

Nate Sestina. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By ERIC LINDSEY, UK Media Relations

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball forward Nate Sestina is expected to miss approximately four weeks after fracturing his left wrist in practice on Tuesday. He was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday morning.

“We haven’t been a full team in over a month,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “Nate goes to shoot a layup, it gets blocked, he falls back, goes to stop himself (and) breaks his wrist/hand. He’s out … approximately four weeks. Now we regroup. Next man up.”

Sestina, a graduate transfer from Bucknell, has played a key part in Kentucky’s 5-1 start, providing valuable on-court production, leadership and experience.

The 6-foot-9, 234-pound forward is averaging 7.3 points and 7.2 rebounds, including a double-double (12 points and 11 rebounds) vs. Eastern Kentucky and a critical 3-pointer in the second half of the win over then-No. 1/1 Michigan State.

Sestina has played 30 or more minutes in four of six games, an especially important contribution with a thin front court that was magnified with the three-game game absence of forward EJ Montgomery (Eastern Kentucky, Evansville and Utah Valley games).

Last season, his first as a starter at Bucknell, Sestina averaged 15.8 points, a team-high 8.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. He shot 53.6% from the floor and made 41 3-pointers at a 38.0% clip. The All-Patriot Second Team selection ranked sixth in the league in scoring and second in rebounding.

Sestina scored in double figures in 27 of 31 games and posted 11 double-doubles last season. He scored 20 or more points in 10 games, including his final two games that led to Patriot League All-Tournament Team honors.

Sestina is the third graduate transfer under Calipari, joining Reid Travis from last season and Julius Mays in 2012-13. He transferred to UK to pursue a master’s degree after graduating with his undergraduate degree in geography from Bucknell.  

Kentucky’s depth has been tested by a rash of injuries this season. Including freshman Dontaie Allen and redshirt freshman Zan Payne, who are working their way back from previous injuries, Sestina marks the eighth different Wildcat to suffer an injury this season.

Montgomery was out three games with a right ankle injury, sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley missed the Utah Valley game with a chest injury, sophomore guard Ashton Hagans has played through a lower right leg injury, junior forward Nick Richards missed the final exhibition game with a sprained left ankle, and freshman forward Kahlil Whitney dislocated his left pinky near the end of the Utah Valley game (he did not miss a game).

Despite the injuries, UK is among the best defensive teams in the country statistically, having held five of six opponents to less than 40% shooting. Included in the Wildcats’ five victories this season was the victory over the top-ranked Spartans to start the season, one of just three games the Wildcats have played with at least nine full-time basketball scholarship players.

“We need our fans now more than ever,” Calipari said. “Coming to games, cheering, picking these kids up. They go on a run that they don’t play well, cheer them (and) get them going. So we’re shorthanded again and your coach is saying, ‘Bring it. Let’s go.’ Remember this: There’s not one person outside the Big Blue Nation or the Commonwealth of Kentucky feeling bad for us.”

Kentucky continues its season Friday vs. UAB in Rupp Arena in the final game of the BBN Showcase. Tip is set for 7 p.m. on SEC Network.

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  1. Its time for EJ to earn his scholarship. Nick has taken a step forward, we need to keep him engaged on the offensive end. Brooks will hopefully not try to do too much, but he is looking better. Jordan will see some PT now. If he will defend, rebound, make his put backs and free throws while he is in, that will be a big help. I am hoping Ashton, Immanuel, and Tyrese become the 3 Amigos and step up as a group instead of one trying to do it all by themself. Maybe Juzang will find some confidence and help some too. Whitney just needs to work on free throws and let the rest come to him as it does. If we can get into conference play with just 2 more losses, that will be a job well done. December is tough, but the January part of the SEC schedule is not the toughest part. If we get Nate back by mid January with one conference loss we will have a puncher’s chance of getting through February with only 3 or 4 more losses. I don’t see winning the regular season SEC title as realistic, but if Calipari coaches this team up, the SEC conference tournament can be won, but I honestly don’t see that happening. I know this will make all of the Rah Rahs squeal and cry, but it is what it is. After December, you will all know where this season is going.

    1. Hey, look here Cat fans, Mr. Spartan is a prophet now. You can’t leave to soon “bunny boy.”

      1. Nice to see you in holiday spirit…not sure you would be good team player…trash talker…definitely.

        1. The only one on your team it seems to me is “Mr. Spartan.” Take the “Challenge.” I only trash talk the punks. That is you little buddy.

            • Mike on November 27, 2019 at 8:06 pm

            You are such an easy target.

          1. Mike, thump this punk while you can, the Sissy mouth will be gone after Saturday.

          2. Hornet, if I lose this football CHALLENGE Sat, hold little man Catmandoo1000, alias “Mr. Spartan’s” feet to the fire. He also took the Cards over the Cats in the coming roundball game in December. You and Cats79 kick his butt off this site.

            As for, little Mike, “Mr. Cardinal” he is a CS. He is all talk and no action. He is feeling very insecure about now, that is why he is so mean spirited and ugly toward real UK fans. If Mr. Spartan goes down, it will be tough sledding for him here, labeled not only as a TROLL, but as the CS “Mr. Cardinal.” Hard to live that down on a UK blog. LOL Go Cats!!!

  2. Coach Cal says it could be just three weeks, maybe less, that Nate will be out.

  3. This team is trying to learn each other and it takes time to get there as each Cal team does and we get so much of same old people just don’t have the patience for it. With the injurys we have had its has hamper our progress to figure out what type of team we are. Jesus guys back off all of your NEGATIVE talk untill this team is at full strength.

  4. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE !!!
    (trolls and all)

    1. Are you having memory problems? How many times do you have repeat same message? You have to be as lonely as your Pup kin.

  5. I simply wanted to make sure you little trolls got the message.
    I see you did…LOL

    1. See what I mean Hornet,” Mr. Cardinal,” Mike, the “TROLL?” He is so sensitive these days. He just lashes out uncontrollably at any and everyone. So immature, so insecure. Just on the wrong site I suppose. Apparently he can’t find a good Louisville Cardinal site to express his Red colored views. SAD.

  6. Mike takes his marching orders from Catmandoodoo.
    His immaturity comes as no surprise to me.
    He must be one sad little man, still living in his mama’s basement.
    Nevertheless, I wish him well.

    1. Yes, possibly so Hornet, yes. Sad indeed. “Mr. Cardinal” has stirred up a “HORNET”S NEST!” LOL!!!! But where is the Catmandoo1000, “Mr. Spartan?” Sort of quiet since MSU game. He has been relegated by “Mr Cardinal” to 2nd team, I guess. He’s a “no show.” I guess he is off shining balls for Calipari. These two TROLLS are “easy pickins.” All brought on by castigating our Cats at every turn. LOL GO CATS beat Louisville!!!

  7. Belated Happy Thanksgiving to sisters H1 and Pup. They are probably wearing matching skirts this day after.

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