So much for the good news.
Prior to tonight’s game, PJ Washington told CBS reporter Jamie Erdahl that his current pain level is 10 out of 10:
We’re underway from Jacksonville with @KentuckyMBB vs @ACUsports action on @CBSSports.— Jamie Erdahl Buckman (@JamieErdahl) March 21, 2019
UK without PJ Washington (left foot sprain). He told me his pain on a scale of 1-10 is a 10. He’s in a hard cast -which is still “precautionary” per the school.
Shortly after, KSR’s Matt Jones offered this update:
I am operating under the assumption that PJ won’t play this entire weekend.— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 21, 2019
It’s up to the rest of the Cats to get to a point where we can all fret about next weekend
Let’s hope we’ve not seen the last of PJ at UK.
Kyle Tucker of The Athletic offered an encouraging update that suggests PJ Washington is simply wearing a cast to speed up his recovery:
Was told once it became clear PJ Washington was going to sit out tonight, training staff told Calipari they could hard cast him to further protect/immobilize the foot. "Do it," Cal said. And that doesn't mean it can't/won't be cut off sooner than later to let him play. https://t.co/RfVwa5k8af— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 21, 2019
Some have wondered if the hard cast meant PJ’s season was over, but for now, it appears this is UK doing everything they can to get him back ASAP.
The Kentucky Wildcats are about to open NCAA Tournament play when they face the Abilene Christian Wildcats tonight.
However, most of the Big Blue Nation is more focused on the health of PJ Washington, who is dealing with a foot sprain that’s threatening to end his UK career if the Cats go down before he can return.
John Calipari revealed on Thursday that Washington is now wearing a hard cast for precautionary measures. Then, Washington was seen rolling into VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena with a scooter to keep pressure off of the foot:
#Kentucky's PJ Washington Jr., who won't play tonight, rolls into the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena before the team's game against Abilene Christian. @JonHale_CJ https://t.co/EW09tGqo46 pic.twitter.com/9qHb36oqxX— Matt Stone (@mattstonephotog) March 21, 2019
Seeing Washington utilizing a hard cast and scooter is not a good sign for his availability on Saturday if Kentucky advances past ACU tonight. They should be able to do so, but beating a team like Wofford or Seton Hall without Washington will be a major challenge.
Whatever the issue with Washington really is, we’ll hopefully get the full truth from John Calipari tonight following Kentucky’s matchup with ACU.