When Kahlil Whitney announced he was leaving Kentucky, many viewed it as an opportunity for Dontaie Allen. The freshman forward was cleared to practice almost two months ago following his recovery from knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, but according to John Calipari, it will still be a while before we see him play in a game.
“Not at this point,” Cal said on his radio show last night. “I don’t think he’s ready to get in there and get on the court.”
Allen was named Mr. Basketball after a record-setting career at Pendleton County. He finished his high school career with 3,255 points, which ranks 11th all-time in state history, despite missing the majority of his senior season with an injury. He averaged 42.9 points and 14.2 rebounds per game as a senior until he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on December 22, 2018. In April 2019, he broke his collarbone in a car accident.
After Allen was cleared to play back in December, Calipari said conditioning was an issue due to swelling in his knee, hence the caution in bringing him back to game shape.
“He’s practiced, but no, he’s a ways away [from playing]. He had an ACL [injury],” Calipari said on Dec. 13. “He’ll practice, and then two days he can’t practice. When he practices, he’s probably about 75%. But I’m glad he’s on the floor some.”
This afternoon, Joel Justus said Allen’s working hard in practice, but the coaching staff refuses to rush him back.
“He’s practicing, he’s getting better,” Justus said. “I think Dontaie’s working hard and everyone’s on their own path and their own timetable. When Dontaie’s ready and willing to be ready to go — I think for us, there’s no rush on our part. I don’t think there’s any rush there. You want to make sure you’re in the right frame of mind and the right physical state of mind. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”