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Kentucky Basketball: Jarred Vanderbilt injury update

It’s pretty clear Jarred Vanderbilt’s injury was more than just a minor ankle sprain.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

There may not be an NBA prospect out there that could benefit from another year of college basketball than Jarred Vanderbilt

The freshman forward from Texas endured an injury-riddled freshman season that has his NBA stock very low. But what little time we did see Vanderbilt this year, it was clear he had NBA talent, perhaps even enough for a team take him in Round 1 of this year’s draft.

But after returning in the middle of SEC play from a serious foot injury, Vanderbilt suffered an ankle sprain that led to him missing UK’s final six games. It also killed any hope Vanderbilt had of being a first-round pick, which is what his father thinks should be the goal.

In an interview with SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker, Robert Vanderbilt indicated his son should try to get the security of being a first-round pick, something that just isn’t going to come this year.

But all that ultimately matters is what Jarred thinks and wants.

For now, that’s unknown.

Muddying the waters even more is the unknown status of Vanderbilt’s most recent injury, which was believed to be ‘just’ an ankle sprain.

Well, the latest from his dad makes it appear the full extent of the injury still isn’t public knowledge, and he wouldn’t even answer if surgery was needed.

“It’s day to day with the sprained ankle and we’re trying to discuss how serious that is,” Robert said. “It’s getting a little better. It’s still day to day. We’re going to discuss all that when he comes in — talk about that part and the other decision we’re going to make. We’re going to discuss the whole nine yards of this thing.”

It’s been three weeks since Vanderbilt was initially diagnosed with an ankle sprain and was called day to day. I think it’s safe to the injury was worse than UK let on.

If some kind of procedure was needed on his ankle or his opposite-side foot, which is what’s been injured on multiple occasions, it should kill any thought of Vanderbilt going pro.

No one is going to draft him if he’s spending the offseason recovering from surgery, and he wouldn’t get the chance to go through the combine or private workouts.

In the end, all you can hope is that Vanderbilt gets healthy and makes the best decision for himself and his family.

Be sure to read Tucker’s full story for more on Vanderbilt’s freshman season and his NBA Draft stock.