Concerning news was released on Tuesday afternoon in regards to the Kentucky Wildcats.
Just two days before the team tips off their 2019 NCAA Tournament, ‘twas announced by UK Athletics that sophomore power forward PJ Washington has been in a walking boot this week.
While Jon Hale of the Louisville Courier-Journal confirmed via Washington’s father that the boot is for precautionary reasons, simply wearing the boot does leave cause for concern.
On Wednesday, head coach John Calipari met with the media prior to his team’s open practice. Prior to that, it was revealed that Washington wasn’t even in the arena, as he stayed behind at the team hotel for treatment.
Then, Calipari revealed Washington sprained his foot in the loss to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament. He said Washington went through x-rays and an MRI, and they all came back clean.
UK also sent Washington to a foot specialist to make sure the issue isn’t something that will get worse if he plays this week.
.@PJWashington sprained his foot in the Tennessee game, Cal announces. X-rays and MRI tests all came back good but they want to be extra careful so he’s seeing a specialist today. “He wants to play,” Cal says. pic.twitter.com/9N7siQInUs— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 20, 2019
If Washington is sidelined during the tournament, it will be interesting to see what Kentucky would like look without him on the court.
Washington has started a not-so-glorious trend of picking up two early fouls over recent games. However, he’s returned in the second halves of those outings and provided outstanding efforts to boost the team in all facets.
To say the star forward would be out for both halves of a game(s) would be a devastating blow.
Though EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards had their moments during the SEC Tournament last week, both also proved that they’re not quite ready for full-time starting duties.
Reid Travis rebounded from his sprained knee and performed accordingly, but even the veteran center can’t shoulder both Washington’s weight along with his own.
There have been some games this season when Keldon Johnson has played “big,” both figuratively and literally, but he’s also disappeared for 5-10 minute stretches in games and that’s something Kentucky can’t afford with Washington out.
Overall, the Wildcats are plenty good enough to make it past the first weekend if Washington were to miss any time. However, advancing much farther would be a serious challenge.