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Dominique Hawkins practicing for Kentucky Wildcats

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats got good news Thursday ahead of their Saturday clash with the Auburn Tigers.

Junior guard Dominique Hawkins returned to practice for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain two weeks ago during a win over Ole Miss. This comes in the nick of time after head coach John Calipari said after Tuesday’s win against Mississippi State that UK needed Hawkins back "badly"

That's because guys who don’t deserve to play are having to play in his place, and that was evident during Tuesday's game as UK led built a 20-point lead, but let the Bulldogs almost come all the way back before escaping with an 80-74 win.

While Hawkins isn't the greatest offensive threat, he's a great defender who knows where he needs to be unlike guys like Charles Matthews and Mychal Mulder, both of whom have played more with Hawkins out.

It's still hard to see Hawkins playing Saturday just a few weeks after suffering his injury. High ankle sprains can take around a month to heal, but it looks like his return should come sooner rather than later.