Willie Cauley-Stein is likely to miss some time due to a just-discovered knee injury. Here's the relevant tweets that provide all we know at this moment:
Sources tell KSR that Willie Cauley-Stein has hurt his knee and could be out for a couple of games. There is no ligament tear.— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 18, 2013
The injury was found out after the Tennessee game but it is unclear how long Willie Cauley-Stein will be out. Not expected to be for season— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 18, 2013
Couple of folks now telling me Cauley-Stein had surgery today and is out until mid-February but I have not yet confirmed— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 18, 2013
Obviously, this is a big blow to Kentucky's hopes to get back on track for a decent tournament seed. If Cauley-Stein comes back by mid-February, he might make it back for the Florida game on the 12th, but I wouldn't bet on it.
This is going to force Kyle Wiltjer into a lot more time, and he and Alex Poythress are going to have to step up defensively, and in rebounding. WCS hasn't put up dazzling numbers, but his presence has been a big factor in Kentucky's success so far this year (such as it is).
This could also be an opportunity for little-used Jon Hood to step up and get some meaningful minutes, if he has recovered from his bout with mononucleosis. If not, Kentucky is going to be very thin and quite a bit smaller than it has been all year.
Sometimes, things like this work out well, but at first, it is likely to be a struggle. We are very fortunate that we don't run into Florida for a while, but if Kentucky drops any of these games, it's really going to put them in a bad place.
UPDATES (In reverse chronological order):
1:50 PM 1/18/2013 John Clay has more.
UK says Jon Hood has returned to practice but Twany Beckham remains out with a lower back injury.— John Clay (@johnclayiv) January 18, 2013
UK now says that Cauley-Stein had a minor knee procedure done and his status "is to be determined." John Hood has returned to practice— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 18, 2013