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Calipari updates status of PJ Washington; likely on minutes restriction

If PJ plays Friday, he won’t get a full workload.

PJ Washington Jamie Boggs - Sea of Blue

With the Kentucky Wildcats preparing for their Sweet 16 matchup with the Houston Cougars, the question of PJ Washington’s health has been up in the air and under speculation all week long.

Everyone outside of John Calipari, Washington and his family are unsure as to what’s going on with the Wildcats’ best player, including the nature of his injury and his availability.

With the game on Friday looming, Wildcat fans are starting to feel a little more optimistic about Washington’s chances of playing due to some positive updates throughout the week on his status.

On Thursday, Calipari has his first and only meeting with the media prior to Friday’s clash with the Cougars. There, he gave an update on his star player, who is still unsure to play Friday.

And if he does, PJ won’t be getting his usual workload of 30-35 minutes. In fact, it may be only half of that.

Calipari added that if PJ is only 80%, he won’t play.

Kentucky’s title chances with and without Washington seem to be as plain as day when it comes down to it. If Washington returns, the Wildcats have a legitimate opportunity to make a Final Four run and compete for a national championship.

With Washington out and on the sidelines, Kentucky could struggle to make it past Houston, let alone Auburn or North Carolina in a regional championship game. Even if PJ plays, he needs to be close to 100% and playing 25+ minutes for Kentucky to beat a team like North Carolina. Even Houston may be too much to overcome if Washington only plays 15 minutes.

Also, Kentucky is 3-2 this season when Washington plays under 21 minutes.

With news like this, Kentucky fans should still pump the brakes on a celebration just yet, but they should feel a lot more confident about the chances of the Wildcats making it out of the weekend alive.