If the Kentucky Wildcats can keep extending their season, Jarred Vanderbilt should return to action at some point.
However, Thursday against the Kansas State Wildcats appears to be a little too soon. Wednesday brought about both good and bad news regarding the talented forward.
The good news is Vanderbilt not only returned to practice on Tuesday, but he was able to practice again on Wednesday.
Jarred Vanderbilt take the floor in Atlanta pic.twitter.com/8eyYNUxWxO— Curtis Burch (@curtisburch) March 21, 2018
Jarred Vanderbilt practicing without contact. pic.twitter.com/nrN7SC6jXQ— Kernel Sports (@KYKernelSports) March 21, 2018
The bad news is neither he nor John Calipari sound confident the freshman will play this week. Vanderbilt did say that he hopes to play this week, but he isn’t confident he’ll play much Thursday if he does dress.
“Probably wouldn’t have too many minutes,” said Vanderbilt. “The guys have been playing well in my absence. I think regardless, we’re still gonna play good.”
Calipari sounded even less optimistic.
“My guess is no, but it would be nice to have him there,” said Calipari when asked of Vanderbilt playing Thursday. “Last game, we had foul trouble. You have that guy there that you could put it, it would be nice.”
Vanderbilt already missed the first 17 games of his freshman season due to an unrelated foot injury. He battled back to find his way into the UK rotation, only to suffer another injury that’s kept him sidelined ever since. He missed the entire SEC Tournament (three games) and the first two games of the NCAA Tournament.
My guess is he misses Thursday but is able to play Saturday if UK makes it that far, but it would be nothing more than an emergency backup role.