The University of Kentucky announced that small forward Jarred Vanderbilt has suffered an injury that will force him to miss the first three months of the 2017-18 season.
Vanderbilt suffered a left foot injury yesterday during a team skill instruction period. The injury will likely require surgery. They expect Vanderbilt to return by January.
“I just want to let the Big Blue Nation know I’m going to be fine and looking forward to coming back better than ever,” Vanderbilt said in a press release. “I’ve had some setbacks before and I’ve come back from all of them. After talking with my doctor and my family, I feel good about the plan they have in place for me. I’m anxious to get this right and return to my team so I can put this behind me for good. I can’t wait to get back to my brothers and help us compete for a national championship this season.”
Coach Cal’s primary concern is Vanderbilt’s long-term health.
“Jarred has been unbelievable since he stepped on campus,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “He’s improved tremendously the last four months. Unfortunately, we learned late last night that he’s going to miss some time to get his foot healthy. I’m disappointed for Jarred, but only because I know how badly he wanted to get this season started. I’m OK because I know this is what’s best for him.
“As I told Jarred, my concern for him is getting this thing right and getting him healthy for the rest of his career. We’ll miss him on the court, but I want what’s best for him and his family, and right now that’s taking care of this injury and making sure he doesn’t have to worry about it again. With the motor and worth ethic I’ve seen from him, I have no doubt he’s going to be better than ever when he returns and will provide us with a huge lift in conference play. Now it’s up to his teammates to hold the fort down until he gets back.”
The only good news is that Vanderbilt has plenty of teammates to hold down the fort. In his place, Calipari will rely on Wenyen Gabriel, Kevin Knox, Sacha Killeya-Jones and P.J. Washington to fill the void.