Kentucky’s PJ Washington’s status for Sweet 16 still uncertain

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PJ Washington is moving toward getting back on the floor, but if it’ll be in Kentucky’s Sweet 16 game against Houston remains to be seen.

“The doctor said pretty much some good things. So I’m happy where I’m at, and I’m just trying to get better,” Washington, who is dealing with a foot injury, told reporters Thursday in Kansas City, the site of the No. 2 Wildcats’ Friday matchup with the No. 3 Cougars. “I haven’t been practicing. I haven’t put any pressure on it yet. I’ll go out there (in practice) and see what I can do.”

Kentucky had its media availability before its practice Thursday, so Washington’s participation ahead of tomorrow night remains a bit mysterious.

“I kind of stay out of these decisions. Unless the doctor tells me he can hurt himself, then he wouldn’t have a decision to make,” Kentucky coach John Calipari Said. “If this one — you ask me how will I make a decision? Probably be him. If he goes in and he’s 80 percent, then I won’t play him. If he goes in, he plays well and he says “sub me,” I’ll sub him. I’m ready to go. I’ll put him back in.”

Washington, who played in the SEC tournament but has missed both of Kentucky’s NCAA tournament games with the injury, is likely looking at a simple pain-management issue against Houston.

“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,” Calipari said. “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.’
“He wants to play. Now, it’s can he play? We don’t know. If anybody is guessing, you know, we just don’t know yet.”

Washington is averaging 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 51.5 percent from the floor.

“Because he hadn’t played for a couple weeks, people may forget how good he is,” Calipari said. “He’s an All American.”