Former five-star forward and current Kentucky freshman Jarred Vanderbilt was already going to miss a significant amount of time with a left foot injury. However, coach John Calipari has left the door open for the 6-foot-9 forward to potentially miss the entire season. He told ESPN at SEC Media Days that there is a chance Vanderbilt could miss the entire season and that his health wouldn’t be risked for a couple wins here and there.
“If he’s not 100 percent, he won’t play,” Calipari told ESPN. “If he can’t get ready this year, then he won’t play this year.”
“‘Well, Coach, what if that costs you games?’ Well, then it costs us games,” he said. “His health and his well-being goes before anything else, including our basketball team. I hope we get him back — for him. So he can play. But again, even if he doesn’t play this year, [I told him] ‘This is hurting us more than it’s hurting you.'”
Vanderbilt was initially given a three-month timetable to return when he suffered the injury in September. He was ranked as the No. 19 overall recruit in the 2017 class and the No. 5 player at his position according to ESPN’s rankings.