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John Calipari & Kenny Payne give injury update on PJ Washington

PJ really wants to play, but this has turned into a tricky injury.

Jamie Boggs - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats are going to have to push forward in their quest for a ninth national championship without their top player.

Today, John Calipari met with the media to preview Saturday’s matchup with the Wofford Terriers. After saying Thursday that Washington was not expected to play Saturday, no one was expecting good news on the All-American forward today.

Turns out, Calipari said Friday that he can’t imagine Washington will play on Saturday. He added that this will be a hard game especially with Washington out, so that’s all the confirmation we need that he won’t play Saturday.

It already wasn’t looking good for PJ anyhow after he came to the arena today still in his hard cast and on a scooter.

In addition, assistant coach Kenny Payne said Kentucky is now just trying to keep winning and buy Washington some more time to return:

The Cats did managed to thrive without Washington in their first round matchup with Abilene Christian. Reid Travis, EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards all stepped up in the frontcourt with Washington out and the Cats were able to score plenty even without their lead scorer out.

Even though Kentucky looked great with Washington out Thursday, the Terriers present a far bigger challenge and are fully capable of knocking out the Cats.

Wofford sits at 30-4 overall and is coming off an impressive double-digit victory over Seton Hall in the first round that saw the Terriers shoot 13/28 from downtown.

However, despite Wofford’s talent and Washington being out Kentucky does have a significant size advantage. The Terriers don’t start anyone taller than 6-9, while Kentucky’s bigs are much longer and all have dominated against smaller lineups.

Washington being out is a blow, but Kentucky absolutely still can advance to the Sweet 16 if they play at a high level like we saw Thursday night.