Kentucky will likely be without freshman guard Terrence Clarke the rest of the season.
During his weekly call-in radio show, UK head coach John Calipari announced Clarke would miss the next four weeks with an ankle injury, one that has kept him out since December. It was a medical report the team received today that left both Clarke and Calipari in tears.
“You know, Terrence wants to play so bad, we want him to play, I want him to play. I want to coach him and get him on that court,” Calipari said. “There were tears today, his and mine. His tears were, it looks as though they want him out four weeks. Maybe something can happen sooner, but they don’t believe so. It’s crushing to these kids. When we had Keion (Brooks Jr.) out, I had to follow the docs, you know me well enough.
“Here’s one thing I want to tell the fans again. They know their pain, they know their pain threshold. We were, again, in a situation, they said he was going to be able to try it. I said, “He’s been out a ton. How’s this going to work?” And bang.”
It’s yet another hit for a program that has gone through so much adversity in a difficult year for everyone in the world.
At the end of the day, Calipari hopes there’s a light at the end of this dark, difficult tunnel.
“Stuff’s not fair. But this stuff that we’re dealing with, none of this is fair,” Calipari said. “I’ve probably got people listening to this saying, “I lost my job.” We’ve got kids that, parents are trying to get them in school and they’re having to stay home to watch their kids. It’s not fair and it’s no one’s fault. It’s just not fair.
“That’s where I say faith comes in, not to throw my religion at anybody, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to believe that good stuff is out there and it’s coming. You’ve got to believe things happen for a reason. A lot of times we’re thrown curveballs and unbelievable struggles, a lot of times it’s to see how we deal with it.”
On the court, Calipari says UK will continue to be without its “best player playing,” but his main concern is making sure Clarke’s mental health remains strong.
“For him, think about it. It’s like your career is flashing before your eyes,” Calipari said. “Yes, we don’t have our best player playing, we haven’t for a while. He’s obviously been hurting for a long time before he stepped off the court where it was like, “This ain’t gonna work.”
“Say a prayer for him. Every day I look at him, I say, “How you feeling? How are you?” You worry about mental health in all these situations, but especially with something like that.”
In seven games this season, Clarke averaged 10.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 31.3 minutes per contest.