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UK Basketball: Jarred Vanderbilt likely needs surgery, per report

It sounds like Vanderbilt’s injury woes may lead to him going under the knife.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It sounds like Jarred Vanderbilt’s NBA dreams may have to wait another year.

Entering Sunday’s deadline to declare for the draft, Vanderbilt has yet to make his intentions known. That may be because he’s about to undergo a surgical procedure that could all but ensure he’s back at UK next season.

According to KSR’s Tyler Thompson, Vanderbilt may need surgery to repair the injury that kept him out at the end of the season.

The mystery piece in all of this is Jarred Vanderbilt, who will likely have surgery for the foot/ankle issue that held him out at the end of the season. Because of that, Vanderbilt wouldn’t be able to participate in the combine, making his chances of getting drafted even slimmer.

Vanderbilt is coming off an injury-riddled season in which he missed the first 17 games with a foot injury, not playing his first game until January 16. He then missed the last six games of the year as well with a sprained ankle. He totaled just 238 minutes.

In his time on the floor, Vanderbilt averaged 5.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and one assist per game. He was not only UK’s best defender when healthy, but he also became arguably the best rebounder in college basketball. His ball handling also helped UK become a more dangerous team on the fast break.

If Vanderbilt returns for his sophomore season and stays healthy, there’s no doubt he can be a high NBA Draft pick in 2019. It’s looking more and more like that will be the path Vanderbilt attempts to travel.

And make no mistake about it: Of all the recruits and grad transfers the Kentucky Wildcats could bring in, a healthy sophomore Vanderbilt may be the best of them all.