After a relatively clean game on the injury front, Kentucky fans held their breath a bit when starting linebacker Kash Daniel worked his way to the locker room for x-rays after suffering a hand injury on a crucial fourth-and-one stop.
The tests reportedly came back negative and Daniel came back in with his hand heavily wrapped and then played the majority of the second half. Despite fighting through it, the UK Sports Network team reported Daniel was still dealing with severe pain, leading him to sit out Vanderbilt’s final drive of the game.
Though the school announced the initial x-rays were negative, Mark Stoops didn’t necessarily ease our worries about Daniel’s availability going forward at the podium during his postgame press conference.
“We’ll take a look at it, do some x-rays, see what we got to do.,” Stoops said.
When it was Daniel’s time to give a health update during his media availability, the veteran linebacker actually announced he fractured his hand on Kentucky’s huge stop on fourth down.
“I broke it,” he said. “Well, fractured. However you want to put it.”
The fourth-and-one play resulted in a tackle for loss for Daniel, followed by a forced fumble and a fumble recovery by the Cats. It may have resulted in quite a bit of pain, but it was a major momentum swing in Kentucky’s favor.
Daniel broke down the sequence, saying he heard his hand “pop” when he fought through on the tackle for loss.
“There was one yard to go, so I saw a C-gap open up and I shot it,” he said. “(Quinton Bohanna) did a great job getting off his block, coming in and hitting it. I don’t know who knocked it loose, but that’s the play I broke my hand on. I was trying to go in and then I heard something pop.”
When asked about how long the injury will keep him out, the junior linebacker gave the most “Kash Daniel” response imaginable.
“Not one play,” he said. “I’m clubbed up, ready to go. I’ll be playing next week.”
With Kentucky set to take on Missouri’s high-powered offense, Daniel will be an absolute necessity for the Cats next week.
And luckily for us, it sounds like he’s ready to give it a go.