BOISE, Idaho — Kentucky forward Jarred Vanderbilt said Friday afternoon that he’s “day to day” with his ankle injury, and that he’ll “most likely not” play in Kentucky’s second round NCAA Tournament game Saturday against Buffalo.
The freshman is dealing with a left ankle injury. Vanderbilt missed all three games in the SEC Tournament and didn’t play in Kentucky’s first round NCAA Tournament win against Davidson on Thursday.
“I’m still feeling it, and I don’t wanna go out there and make it any worse right now,” Vanderbilt said Friday. “I think I said yesterday I was 70-75 percent. It feels like it’s getting better.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari commented Wednesday on Vanderbilt’s status.
“Right now I just don’t think it’s in his interests or ours — unless he’s 100 percent — I would take 97 percent, 95, but you can’t take 80,” Calipari said. “You can’t. The games are played at too high a level.”
Vanderbilt is Kentucky’s leading rebounder, pulling in 7.9 rebounds per game despite only averaging 17 minutes per game. Vanderbilt is averaging 6 points per game on 43 percent shooting.
Vanderbilt missed Kentucky’s first 17 games of the season with a foot injury unrelated to his current ankle injury. But missing Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament opener against Davidson was worse.
“It was painful,” Vanderbilt said. “This is what we work for all year, ya know, for this moment to play in the NCAA Tournament. To see my brothers out there fighting, playing hard — and me not being able to produce on the court — it was kind of tough. But I’m glad we got the win. We played hard.”
Kentucky and Buffalo tip off at 5:15 p.m. ET Saturday at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.
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