The big question heading into Friday’s clash is the health of PJ Washington. The All-American forward is still battling left foot sprain that’s kept him sidelined since Selection Sunday, when his foot began swelling, which led to him being placed in a walking boot.
After seeing a foot specialist, Washington was put in a hard cast in hopes of speeding up his recovery. The hope has been he’ll be good to go this week with nearly two weeks off, and it appears that may be all he needs to get back on the court.
After having his cast removed Tuesday, Washington tweeted this out on Wednesday, seemingly a hint that he was about to return:
Then, John Calipari posted this:
PJ’s dad told me last night he expected a statement to come out today. PJ posted this video just now. UK spokesman says: see PJ’s tweet. No further statement beyond that.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 27, 2019
So I really don’t know how you read this other than: PJ’s back. https://t.co/BCv99lOtbs
It’s hard to imagine they would tease everyone like this unless PJ felt good about his chances of playing this week.
Kentucky is leaving for Kansas City today, and they’ll meet with the media tomorrow afternoon before having a closed practice. If Washington is going to play Friday, I’d venture to guess Washington gets some level of work in during that practice, then partakes in the gameday shootaround.
Because Washington has been in either a boot or a cast for the last week, he probably hasn’t done much, if any conditioning work, so we may not see him get his usual 30-35 minute workload Friday, but just having him will be a major boost for Kentucky.