Back in September, the University of Kentucky announced freshman Jarred Vanderbilt would be out until January due to a fracture he suffered in his left foot.
Less than a month later, Vanderbilt was walking around Kentucky facilities with no boot and no visible limp.
Following Kentucky’s exhibition victory over Morehead State, John Calipari told reporters the star freshman received a favorable updated timeline on a return, and that he could start practicing sooner rather than later.
But when can we expect Vanderbilt to suit up and actually play a game?
Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader interviewed Vanderbilt’s father, Robert, about his son’s return from injury.
“It might be a little sooner than that,” the player’s father, Robert Vanderbilt, said of a January return. “But Coach Cal has not talked about that. He’s talked about ‘We’re not going to rush him back.’
He reiterated that Calipari is in no rush to bring him back, saying they were going to be delicate with this situation to make sure these injuries don’t continue in the future.
“Coach Cal is going to bring him back slowly.”
The elder Vanderbilt said he had spoken to Calipari about how the player’s basketball future as well as Kentucky’s season would be part of the decision-making process.
We’re talking longevity here . . . ,” Robert Vanderbilt said. “There’s no sense in rushing.”
Tipton also interviewed Vanderbilt’s coach at Victory Prep in Houston, Rodney McCray, about what he has told his former player and the mindset to have going forward.
“I told him, you’re at one of the best schools in the country. They want to make sure you’re right and ready to come back when it’s time to come back. If you need extra time, they’re going to give you extra time. They’re going to make sure that you’re ready to go when it’s time. They’re going to look out for your best interests.”
It’s going to be sooner than expected, but don’t expect a miraculous appearance on Friday night against Utah Valley.
Regardless, it’s great to hear Vanderbilt is improving and the timetable has improved.
He’s a special talent, and the BBN needs to be excited about it.