Kentucky’s P.J. Washington ruled out for NCAA tournament opener

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Kentucky star forward P.J. Washington has officially been ruled out of Thursday’s NCAA tournament first-round matchup against Abilene Christian with a sprained foot.

Wildcats head coach John Calipari sounded optimistic that Washington would be able to play in the team’s NCAA tournament opener when speaking to reporters on Wednesday. But Calipari took to Twitter early Thursday to confirm that Washington was ruled out.

Placed in a hard cast for precautionary reasons after seeing specialists, Washington’s health for future rounds remains uncertain. Washington is Kentucky’s leading scorer and rebounder this season as he’s putting up 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Without Washington, the Wildcats should still be able to get by No. 15 seed Abilene Christian thanks to a deep collection of frontcourt players.

But the sophomore’s health is going to be one of the key storylines to watch this weekend as his availability could have a huge impact on Kentucky’s potential second-round matchup.