Jarred Vanderbilt could return sooner than expected

Kentucky Wildcats forward Jarred Vanderbilt #2 applauds from the bench during the Blue/White game on Friday, October 20, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Blue won 88-67. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

UK men’s basketball was expected to be without freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt until January due to a left foot injury, but the Cats may get him back sooner than expected. 

At head coach John Calipari’s press conference on Thursday morning, Calipari shared with the media that Vanderbilt is out of the boot he’s been wearing since the injury.

“He was out of a boot and I was like, ‘stop practice,’ I didn’t stop, I just walked off the court and went over and said, ‘what are you doing?’” Calipari said.

Despite the progress, Calipari offered no updates on when Vanderbilt could see game action. 

“Now will be the process to see ‘okay, where is he exactly and is he going to be able to play or will be have to wait?’” Calipari said. “I guess they did the MRI’s and all that stuff and everything looked good, so we’ll see.”

As for Jemarl Baker, who is expected to be back sooner rather than later, Calipari had no new updates about the freshman guard’s knee injury.

Baker still has yet to practice since suffering the injury, which has held him out of Big Blue Madness and UK’s Blue-White scrimmage. The delay in Baker’s return to the court can be traced back to a similar injury he suffered in high school. 

“The operation he did back in California before he got here for some reason, it didn’t heal or whatever the way it should of, so they’re going to probably take another look in there and see what it is,” Calipari said. 

Baker and Vanderbilt will be out of Friday’s exhibition game against Thomas More, otherwise, the other all Cats will be suited up and ready to play.