The Kentucky Wildcats have been plagued with the injury bug this season, and as of late, it’s been rolled ankles.
After TyTy Washington went down at Auburn on Saturday afternoon with a rolled ankle, Oscar Tshiebwe and Jacob Toppin went down in consecutive possessions with the same injury midway through the second half of their overtime win over Mississippi State. Tshiebwe returned shortly after, but Toppin did not return until there was 1:12 left in overtime.
During postgame interviews, Tshiebwe gave a very encouraging update on Kentucky’s injury situation, including Washington.
“I’m pretty sure TyTy will be with us in Kansas,” Tshiebwe revealed.
That would be massive for Kentucky, who clearly hasn’t been the same when Washington has been out of the lineup. While Tshiebwe is undoubtedly the Wildcats’ best overall player, Washington is on pace to become their best offensive player if he isn’t already.
As for Tshiebwe and Toppin, their injuries against Mississippi State were just minor ankle twists.
“I had a little bit twist on defense. I just moved my ankle a little bit, so I went to re-tape it. That’s why I left the court,” said Tshiebwe. “Jacob, he had exactly the same, but we’re good. We’re pretty good.”
In his postgame press conference, head coach John Calipari gave an update on Toppin’s injury.
“Look, I thought the way Jacob went down that he blew his Achilles. And all of a sudden, he’s back jumping around. I don’t know if he was embarrassed because he slipped and fell. They took him off in a stretcher, and he came back, and he’s the guy I put on the guy that we had to stop. He did it with one Achilles.”
Calipari even teased Toppin for how bad he made his injury look, only to later return to the game.
“I looked up at Jacob and teased him, ‘Do you have a blown-out Achilles? You went down like a sniper hit you. Because you slipped? Embarrassed? Why? What happened here?’”
While both Toppin and Tshiebwe played through their injuries, swelling that occurs the day after can make things dicey, but it doesn’t appear this will be an issue heading into Saturday’s clash with Kansas.
To this point in the season, injuries have kept this team from reaching its full potential. At full health, this team has shown they should absolutely be considered title contenders.
Now, it’s just getting back to that point.