The Kentucky Wildcats are onto the Sweet 16 and now have a date with the Houston Cougars in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. But whether forward PJ Washington will be a part of the team’s push for a national championship remains the million dollar question.
Washington, who missed the first two games of the tournament for the Wildcats, is dealing with a foot injury which has been described as a sprain. Unfortunately, there’s been no official timeline set for his return. Kentucky coach John Calipari first detailed the injury on Twitter just prior to the opener against Abilene Christian.
But while there’s no final decision made on the forward’s status for the matchup with Houston, the overall outlook doesn’t appear to be overly optimistic.
PJ Washington Offers Update on Injury
The first we heard specifically from the Wildcats forward about the injury came in a detailed breakdown of how and when the injury occurred. As Kentucky Sports Radio revealed, Washington told CBS’ Jamie Erdahl about the incident.
“He went up in the air and landed on the balls of his feet as all athletes do. He said he heard something pop in that left foot. He played the rest of the game. It started to swell during the Selection Show on Sunday at Calipari’s house after which they put him in that boot. He went to see a foot specialist in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Wednesday, where they just decided it was best to leave that foot alone and let it calm down on that left side. He said he has not experienced a pain like this before in that left foot. He said he won’t play today. He will wait until maybe Tuesday or Wednesday for them to take that cast off of his foot but as far as he knows it’s still being called a left foot sprain.”
Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio followed up on that by pointing out that Kentucky has stated that the tests on Washington’s foot were all negative. In turn, Jones states that it doesn’t appear to be a tear.
CBS Analyst Gives Bleak Outlook on PJ Washington Injury
CBS reporter Jamie Erdahl also provided some additional information about the injury and her conversation with Washington beyond how the injury happened. According to Erdahl, the Kentucky standout was still in pain on Friday and will be re-evaluated in the middle of this week.
On a positive note, Washington and Kentucky will get one extra day to try and get healthy before they return to the floor for the Sweet 16. As CBS Sports revealed, the Wildcats vs. Cougars matchup is set for Friday, March 29 with a tip time of 9:59 p.m. ET on TNT. This makes it the final game of the round and means the winner will then play in the Elite Eight on Sunday.