One player not expected to play this weekend is Jarred Vanderbilt. The freshman forward is still recovering from his foot injury, though he’s doing more individual work as of late.
Even so, Vanderbilt still has yet to practice with the team, according to John Calipari. During his Thursday meeting with the media, Calipari said he hasn’t even talked to Vanderbilt about when he’ll return to practice.
“Hasn’t started practicing,” said Calipari. “I think I saw that he’s working out individually but he has not started. Haven’t asked him. We’ll see when he’s going to be capable of doing it.”
That’s not a good sign, especially after Calipari originally said the freshman forward could be practicing in late November. It now appears Vanderbilt may not even practice in December, and it’s becoming very unclear as to when/if Vanderbilt will play this season.
The hope had been Vanderbilt would be practicing by now and possibly return for one of these late December games, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards. That was pretty clear during one of Calipari’s recent Monday call-in shows, where he continued to stress that UK won’t rush Vanderbilt back into action.
"Until he’s in a great frame to be able to come in there and physically ready to go with our guys, it’s hard to tell. I’m just saying this to everybody that’s listening: I will not push this kid,” Calipari said on Monday. “If he’s able to do this and it’s good for him and us, that’s great. I’m not trying to win another game by playing a kid before he should play and then all of the sudden you hurt him more than you help him. I’m not going to do that."