Sahvir Wheeler is set to make his return for the Kentucky Wildcats when they face the Providence Friars on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64.
Wheeler hasn’t played since injuring his ankle in an early February practice. His last game appearance was vs. the Florida Gators on February 4th, but it looks like he’ll give it a go this weekend in Greensboro.
Wednesday evening, Kentucky posted the following video, which showed Wheeler among the Wildcats boarding the plane for Greensboro.
#MarchMadness bound pic.twitter.com/n5lUK66fUQ— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 15, 2023
Then on Thursday, the veteran point guard was among the players who met with the media to preview Friday’s clash with Providence.
Almost universally in college sports, players who meet with the media are able to play in upcoming games, so this alone was a good sign Wheeler is good to go.
Adding to that, Wheeler said the plan is for him to play. He also confirmed he’s been practicing this week.
Sahvir Wheeler says he will be available tomorrow night and says he excited to be back out there with his teammates @ASeaOfBlue #BBN pic.twitter.com/pmTSgkHYzv— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) March 16, 2023
When head coach John Calipari was asked about Wheeler, he was not quite as sure about the veteran point guard suiting up.
“He (Wheeler) is trying his hardest, and he’s doing good stuff,” Calipari said. “I’ve got to feel that he’s at 100% and not 80%. We’ll see. He’ll go through the shootaround. We’ll practice a little after this, and then the docs will tell us.”
At this point, it would be a surprise if Wheeler is unable to go Friday. How much he’s able to play is a whole other question, but just having him available is massive, especially if Cason Wallace gets banged up or in foul trouble.
Wallace has had his own minor injuries this season, so having Wheeler able to play will be critical to Kentucky winning multiple games in the Big Dance.