The situation involving Kentucky Wildcats forward PJ Washington has been one big whirlwind that’s tough to keep track of at times. While we found out fairly early that he’d miss at least the first round or two of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, his status for the Sweet 16 remains up in the air. But at the very least, it does seem as though things are trending in the right direction.
Unfortunately, Washington isn’t completely in the clear yet to suit up when the Wildcats meet the Houston Cougars on Friday night. With that said, the hard cast and scooter are no more, which the forward revealed with a post on social media.
Beyond that, Washington was actually able to return to the court and get some work in with the team on Thursday.
PJ Washington Gets Some Work in at Practice
As Kentucky revealed on social media, Washington was spotted on the floor during Thursday’s practice session. We didn’t get much in terms of how much he was able to do, but Guy Ramsey of the school’s official website stated Washington had “no apparent limp and looked his normal self.”
Washington was asked during a presser if he’d play against Houston and stated that he’s unsure and is “trying to get back to play, but right now it’s up in the air.”
John Calipari Addresses PJ Washington’s Status
During John Calipari’s session with the media, the coach was open and honest but did mention the idea of some type of light workload in Washington’s first game back. Kentucky’s official Twitter account revealed a clip of head coach John Calipari who pointed to Reid Travis’ return from injury and the minutes he played.
“If he’s at 80 percent and I see it, I’ll say ‘hey man, let’s just wait, we’ll figure out if we can do this without you. If he’s terrific, what I did with Reid, I asked Reid: ‘How many minutes did I play you when you came back?’ He played 15, 18 minutes. If PJ plays more than that, I would be stunned, surprised – if he doesn’t play at all, I would not be surprised. So we’ll just have to see.” Calipari stated.
Even going one step further, Calipari’s comments to Ramsey and the Kentucky athletics website appear to point to the injury being more about pain tolerance, which is good news.
“Thank goodness the game is at 9 (Central Time),” Calipari said. “We have more time. It’s the first time I’ll ever say this. I wish it was at 10. But, you know, greatest thing for him is the doc said that you can’t hurt yourself. And if that were the case, I wouldn’t let him play. Doc said, ‘You’re going to be in pain after the game if you do play, but you know how much pain can you deal with.’
Although it’s not a lock that Washington returns to action, the fact he and Calipari have spoken about his minutes and he was on the floor during practice are both great signs. Whether or not things play out in favor of the sophomore forward suiting up, it does appear that he’s very close to getting back in the action.
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