The Kentucky Wildcats cannot afford to lose any starter for a significant amount of time, especially a big man as thin as their frontcourt has been this season.
That makes losing Alex Poythress a double whammy. After the senior forward missed Saturday's win over Florida with a knee issue, KSR's Ryan Lemond reports that Alex had a minor knee procedure that will keep him out a week or two.
I am hearing Alex Poythress had a minor procedure on his knee and will be out for about 10-14 days— Ryan Lemond (@ryanlemond) February 10, 2016
There's also this from Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
UK spokesman says "no update" on Alex Poythress. @ryanlemond reporting minor procedure, out 10-14 days.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) February 10, 2016
The team has since announced Alex is out vs Georgia along with the starting lineup:
No Alex again tonight. This lineup seemed to work well last game so we will go with again. #UGAvsUK pic.twitter.com/ccmmSXmhR1— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 10, 2016
This isn't good news for a thin UK frontline that's struggled mightily this season to hold up against bigger teams. If this report is true, it means guys like Skal Labissiere and Isaac Humphries better step up and in a hurry.
Say what you will about Poythress and him disappearing from one game and dominating the next, but he's been a force since moving to the 5 spot with Derek Willis now at the 4. Since that move, Alex is averaging 11.6 points and 5.6 boards per game in just 23.4 minutes of action.
He's been in foul trouble more, but playing that spot appeared to possibly be where Alex finally found a way to be more consistent on a game-to-game basis.
For the time being, junior forward Marcus Lee will be starting today in Poythress' place the 5 spot. That was the case during Saturday's win over Florida, which saw Lee chip in four points, six boards and two blocks, but fouled out in 26 minutes of action.
See the fouling theme here? That's been a problem with UK bigs this year, so losing a starter who was logging 25+ minutes is a huge blow. It may also lead to the debut of freshman forward Tai Wynyard, whether John Calipari wants to play him or not.