Rumors started swirling earlier today that PJ Washington had suffered a lower leg injury during the SEC Tournament.
Turns out, there is some truth to Washington having a minor foot injury, but it doesn’t sound serious.
According to UK, “PJ has been in a boot since Sunday for precautionary reasons. Any other updates we will have on site tomorrow in Jacksonville.”
Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal just spoke with Washington’s father, who offered a similar update:
Sophomore forward PJ Washington has been wearing a walking boot “for precautionary reasons” since Sunday, his father, Paul Washington, confirmed to the Courier Journal in a text message.
It’s unclear exactly when Washington suffered the injury that has led to him being in a walking boot, but basketball players wearing a walking boot doesn’t always mean it’s a serious issue.
With the NCAA Tournament about to begin, Washington may have a sore foot that UK is just making sure heals and doesn’t get worse as Kentucky looks to make a deep tournament run.
More than likely, Washington hurt his foot against Tennessee last Saturday, though there was never a point where he seemed to be favoring his foot during the 82-78 loss. He actually had a big dunk in the final minute to put Kentucky ahead by 1 briefly.
Washington, now a sophomore, returned to Kentucky for a second season for two reasons:
1. To improve his NBA Draft stock.
2. To win a national championship.
He knocked his first reason out of the ballpark, going from a late second round to selection to being on the precipice of the lottery.
His goal of winning a national championship has run parallel to his first goal, as his elevated play has made the Kentucky Wildcats a title contender. He leads the team in points (14.8 per game) and rebounds (7.5 per game), and he has shown himself to be the emotional leader of the group. As PJ goes, so goes the Wildcats.
The Wildcats have been plagued by tournament injuries several times during the John Calipari era.
First, it was Willie Cauley-Stein, then it was Alex Poythress, then Jarred Vanderbilt, and now PJ Washington, though the latter sounds very minor, compared to the other three.
One other thing to mention: During John Calipari’s Monday call-in show, he talked about playing EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards together more. That hasn’t been done much outside of the five games Reid Travis missed, and it probably won’t happen much unless one of Travis and/or Washington are injured or in foul trouble...
Hopefully, Washington will be able to play through the pain and still contribute to a deep run.
But will it be worth the risk for him?
We will find out Thursday at 7:10 pm EST.