Kentucky Wildcats guard CJ Fredrick will have surgery on his injured hamstring and likely miss the remainder of the 2021-22 season, UK announced Saturday.
“I really hate this for CJ,” UK head coach John Calipari said in a press release. “He worked so hard for us this summer and made such a positive impact on our team and our culture. He has been an unbelievable teammate. CJ has a bright future ahead of him, and after being evaluated by our medial staff and specialists, it was clear the best thing for CJ was to get this surgery done now and get him back on a path to getting back on the court at 100%. He’s been great throughout this whole thing and is already itching to get this process going so he can get back to doing what he loves to do.”
Fredrick is in his first season with the Wildcats after transferring in from Iowa this offseason. He was recovering from offseason leg surgery, and it’s unclear when this latest injury occurred. He had returned to practice last weekend and was seemingly on the verge of making his UK debut before this news came out.
“This news hurts so much because I love this team, and we have a great group of guys,” Fredrick said in a press release. “I have the best teammates, coaches, medical staff, friends and family that will get me back where I need to be. We have a very special team this season and I will do whatever I can to support the team. I am looking forward to working hard and being the player I want to be for next season. I appreciate all the support of Big Blue Nation during this difficult time. My journey looks a little different, but I will be back.”
Fredrick, the 2018 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year out of Covington Catholic High School (KY), entered this season as the nation’s leading returner in career 3-point field-goal percentage (46.6%) with a minimum of 150 attempts. The Cincinnati native made 83 triples in two seasons at Iowa.
Last season, Fredrick started all 27 games for the Hawkeyes as redshirt sophomore, averaging 7.5 points and 1.9 assists per game. He made three or more 3-pointers in six games, shot 47.4% from 3 — the second-best mark by a sophomore in program history — and had a 5.2 assist-to-turnover ratio.
While this is brutal news for Fredrick, UK has the firepower and depth to overcome this loss with Davion Mintz and Dontaie Allen coming off the bench. Allen and Mintz have combined to hit 6/9 triples this season.
Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery for Fredrick and he’s back in action next season.
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