It continues to look like De’Aaron Fox avoided a serious injury during Saturday’s win over South Carolina.
On Sunday, a school spokesman said Fox is day-to-day with a right ankle injury. His status for Tuesday’s game vs Tennessee remains in question, but that doesn’t take away from how lucky UK and Fox are to have avoided a worse injury.
Fox twisted his ankle early in the first half of the 85-69 win over the Gamecocks, and that forced him to the locker room as he gingerly departed the court. UK ruled Fox out for the rest of the game during halftime before has returned to the bench with crutches and a walking boot.
That came just one week after No. 7 Creighton lost star point guard Maurice Watson to a season-ending ACL tear. That made seeing Fox on the bench with a walking boot a scary sight, but it doesn’t look like it’s anything more than a sprain.
Depending on how severe the injury is, Fox could miss Tuesday’s game at Tennessee, but the real concern is if he misses Saturday vs No. 1 Kansas. If it’s a high-ankle sprain, he’s as good as out Tuesday and Saturday. If it’s a common sprain, he could return much sooner, possibly as early as Tuesday.
UK is fully capable of beating the Vols, though it’s going to be a hard-fought game with or without Fox. It’s very hard to see UK beating the Jayhawks without Fox.
If he’s unable to play in either of those games, Isaiah Briscoe figures to be the starting point guard while sharing duties with Dominique Hawkins. Those two have played well this season, but Briscoe struggled mightily against South Carolina, finishing with seven turnovers vs four assists and no points on 0-of-2 shooting.
Hawkins was actually the better of the two running the point, finishing with a career-high seven assists vs two turnovers with five points on 1-of-4 shooting.
At this point, my guess is UK holds Fox out Tuesday. There’s no sense in risking him to a long-term injury and having him miss several weeks, if not months.