The lone returner from the Kentucky Wildcats 2019-20 roster will not be making his return for at least a few more weeks.
Sophomore forward Keion Brooks Jr. missed the Wildcats’ first two games with a leg injury of the 2020-21 season, and John Calipari said Monday he hopes to have him back within two to three weeks.
“We’ve got to get Keion back,” Calipari said. “Let’s hope in the next 2-3 weeks he’s back and let’s see what we can do from there.”
Brooks did make appearances during Big Blue Madness and UK’s Pro Day earlier this month, but Calipari said he did not suffer any setbacks by appearing in those events.
“The docs just want him to take more time,” Calipari added.
With a two to three week timetable, Brooks will definitely miss Kentucky’s games with Kansas, Georgia Tech, UCLA and likely Notre Dame.
A realistic return date would be Dec. 19 against the UCLA Bruins based on the timetable provided by Cal.
Keion Brooks thing is weird. Apparently doctors still haven't cleared him to return to 5-on-5 practice with that calf injury, but he's working out with the team in every other drill and doing individual work before practices with an assistant coach. Looked fine at pro day. Odd.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 30, 2020
As for Tuesday’s matchup with Kansas in the Champions Classic, it’s still set to be played, despite COVID-19 concerns with not one but two opponents the Jayhawks faced last week: Gonzaga and St. Joe’s.
However, both Kentucky and Kansas are still ok with the game being played Tuesday, so it looks like COVID won’t affect this game, according to CBS Sports reporter Matt Norlander.
Sources tell CBS Sports Kansas and Kentucky and ESPN have all been in contact and all parties have OK'd playing Tuesday night’s Champions Classic in Indianapolis. Kansas played Gonzaga + Saint Joe’s on Thurs and Friday; both teams each have one player who currently has COVID-19.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) November 30, 2020
Correct. Kansas and Kentucky are negative across the board as of the most recent test results. Gonzaga and Saint Joe's both currently have one player with positive test (thus the semicolon, but my apologies on the tricky syntax!). https://t.co/EVtBcZwveM— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) November 30, 2020
This is going to be a major challenge for the Cats, especially without Brooks. But given all the sporting events that have been postponed or flat-out cancelled in 2020, we should be thankful there’s any college hoops being played at all.
Again, just enjoy the journey, even though it’s gonna be a rocky one. And as Calipari says, the Cats will either win or have a learning experience from defeat.
Game time is set for 9:30 pm EST Tuesday night.