Jarred Vanderbilt will be returning for Kentucky sooner than expected.
The 6-foot-9 McDonald’s All-American will not undergo surgery on his foot as previously expected and instead will begin conditioning with an eye on returning to the court, John Calipari said after the Wildcats’ exhibition win Monday over Morehead State, according to SEC Country.
Vanderbilt suffered the injury late last month, and surgery was expected to keep him sidelined until January.
“Jarred’s on his way back, so America gotta be scared right now,” point guard Quade Green said of Vanderbilt. “I call him the next Lamar Odom. I know that’s big expectations for him, but he really plays just like Lamar Odom. He rebounds, can score any way he wants, he can shoot a little bit.
“His shot’s gotten a lot better, too. He can dribble, he can defend. He’s a guy who can do everything.”
Calipari, though, wasn’t full of only positive developments for Big Blue Nation. Freshman guard Jemarl Baker had his knee scoped and will miss three months. The four-star guard committed to Kentucky this past spring and was expected to bolster the Wildcats’ shooting.
“We’re not as bad as everybody says shooting the ball,” Calipari said. “I’m with them every day.”
Vanderbilt does not have a targeted return date, but Kentucky plans to have him workout with assistant coach Kenny Payne before joining the team at practice again.
The Wildcats open the season Nov. 10, against Utah Valley.