Nate Sestina gave his teammates and fans a scare Tuesday night when he ran off the court holding his right shoulder, but it didn’t take long for him to check back into the game. During the post-game press conferences, head coach John Calipari told reporters he didn’t know whether or not Sestina had his shoulder popped back into place in the locker room. All he knew was Sestina was good to keep playing.
“I just said ‘can you play? He said yes,” Calipari said. “All right – go in.”
Sestina echoed that same sentiment once it was his turn to meet with reporters.
“Cal said if you’re ready to play, get back out and play,” Sestina said. “I was just trying to carry some momentum, move forward, play well and try to get a win.”
As for the injury itself, Kentucky’s grad transfer said it “scared him more than anything.” That particular shoulder is the reason he’s in the Bluegrass to begin with this season.
“It’s what I hurt my freshman year. It’s why I’m here – that’s how I got my redshirt,” Sestina said, referencing the torn labrum and torn ligament he suffered four games into his collegiate career at Bucknell. “It kind of slipped a little bit, felt a little goofy. Brought back some bad memories, and it scared me more than anything… It’s sore; it’s not like anything is hurt. I’m not in any pain. It’s just a dull ache.”
Even with a bit of a bum shoulder, the big man finished the night with six points, three rebounds and one assist in 15 minutes of action. After recording a plus/minus ranking of -21 against Auburn, Sestina began to redeem himself against Mississippi State, finishing with a +11, tied for the highest margin on the team (alongside Tyrese Maxey). Nick Richards had +5, and EJ Montgomery was a neutral zero.
Sestina doesn’t expect any lingering issues with the “goofy” shoulder.
“Ice it, rehab it and we’ll be good to go.”