Sometimes, it’s hard to shake the injury bug.
Jarred Vanderbilt can attest to that.
The freshman forward has battled injuries all season long, both at the beginning of the season and now at the end of the season. The injury bug occurs now as the Wildcats are playing perhaps their best basketball of the season, which is most unfortunate for Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt sprained his ankle right before the Cats began their memorable SEC Tournament run, and now over a week later, he’s still not ready for a return.
However, the Cats advancing to the Sweet 16 has given him a chance to return at some point, he told Kyle Tucker following the win over Buffalo.
“I’m still day to day,” Vanderbilt said, “but they’ve given me a better chance by winning. I’m proud of my guys. They extended my time a lot longer, so I really appreciate that.”
Vanderbilt als joked he’s only up to 71-percent healthy after being at 70 percent on Wednesday. At least, he’s hopefully joking, because if he really improved that little in a four-day span, it’s hard to see him playing in the Sweet 16 this week.
The good news is that in Vanderbilt’s absence, little used forward Sacha Killeya-Jones has came up huge in the postseason for UK. Jones has provided big plays and energy to the line-up, much like Vanderbilt did in his limited run with the Cats.
Here’s to hoping Vanderbilt can overcome the injury bug once more and provide his trademark energy and production to an already-potent Wildcat lineup looking to make the Final Four.