The Kentucky Wildcats have been without Terrence Clarke since conference play began due to an ankle injury.
The last time we saw Clarke on the floor was against the Louisville Cardinals back on December 26th, when he only played 16 minutes and shot 0/4 from the field.
At first, Clarke was expected to miss just about a week or two, but as the season continued, his return kept getting pushed back.
After the Cats’ loss to the Tennessee Volunteers in Rupp Arena on February 6th, John Calipari said in his postgame interview that a determination on Clarke would be made “in the next couple days.”
On February 8th, it was announced that the doctors wanted Clarke to sit out another 4 weeks which essentially covered the rest of the season.
It has been roughly four weeks since Clarke’s latest diagnosis, and questions began circling on Sunday when Clarke posted a picture on his Instagram that seemed to suggest he had returned to practice.
Then during tonight’s John Calipari call-in show, the UK head coach said Clarke is trying to come back, but it’s so late into the season that it may be too late.
Calipari with an update on Terrence Clarke: “He’s working and he’s trying but even if he could play, he hasn’t played since Christmas.”— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) March 8, 2021
Calipari added that Clarke has not been cleared to return.
Unless the Cats can make a miraculous run to the NCAA Tournament, we’ve probably seen the last of Clarke in a UK uniform. It is nice to hear Clarke is trying to come back in the event that scenario does play out, but even if he does return to practice and gets cleared for games, it’s hard to expect much of anything out of him after such a long layoff.
If UK somehow made it to the Big Dance, the first NCAA Tournament game would be nearly six weeks after the four-week timeline came out. If nothing else, Clarke could return and provide some depth at both guard spots.
Remember, Clarke was becoming an effective option at point guard before his injury. It would be nice to have him as a backup option there behind Davion Mintz, as Devin Askew clearly isn’t ready to run the offense for significant stretches.
Once the season ends, Clarke is widely expected to enter the NBA Draft for good.