The NCAA Tournament is here, and the Kentucky Wildcats are looking to go on another deep run under John Calipari.
Unfortunately, this has been one of Calipari’s most injury-prone teams since arriving in Lexington. There thankfully haven’t been any major injuries that sidelined players for months, if not longer.
Instead, it’s been an onslaught of minor injuries that keep key players out for a few games here and there, making it hard to build the kind of chemistry needed to win multiple games in the Big Dance.
Heading into the tournament, starting point guard Cason Wallace is working his way back from a leg injury that sidelined him for the road win at Arkansas and had him highly questionable to play in the SEC Tournament.
Starting shooting guard CJ Fredrick is dealing with cracked ribs he suffered on February 4th against Florida.
Backup point guard Sahvir Wheeler has an ankle injury that’s kept him sidelined since that home win over Florida game after injuring it in practice the following week, so he hasn’t played in over a month.
And just last week, Jacob Toppin had a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for all but one practice leading into the SEC Tournament loss to Vanderbilt, which suddenly feels like a blessing since it’s given Kentucky more time to recover. It also produced about as favorable of a path as one could hope for with a 6-seed.
Now, it sounds like Kentucky could have a full deck when Friday’s opener vs. Providence tips off.
During his Monday call-in show, Calipari revealed that everyone practiced today, though one player didn’t do what he called “body-to-body” stuff. That was likely Wheeler or Fredrick.
On his radio show, John Calipari says Kentucky scrimmaged today and will scrimmage tomorrow.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) March 13, 2023
"We had a fairly healthy team. We scrimmaged We went nose to nose...Everybody went. One did not do the body-to-body stuff but everybody else did."
Still, hearing that the whole team was able to practice in at least a limited capacity is great news for a Kentucky team that looks capable of making a run ‘if’ everyone is healthy. That’s obviously a huge ‘if’ at this point in the season, but it appears Kentucky could have everyone able to play Friday night.
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