Cauley-Stein undergoes knee surgery

As CatsPause.com first reported, Kentucky could be without one of its starters for an undetermined amount of time.

Willie Cauley-Stein had been bothered by a previously existing injury to his left knee and had a minor procedure done Thursday. His status for Saturday's game at Auburn is still to be determined.

“We're presuming he's not going to play,” UK coach John Calipari said.

“The impact if he doesn't play is that we're one short of where we were but against Duke he played six minutes and Maryland he was not a factor. So what happens is other guys have to step up and play. Jarrod (Polson)'s got to get minutes, maybe Jon Hood gets some minutes and is effective. Obviously, we're not as big and long as we are with him.”

The freshman forward is averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season, with 31 blocked shots and 15 steals. He has made 62.1 percent of his shots and started the Cats' last five games alongside fellow freshman big man Nerlens Noel. Cauley-Stein played just 15 minutes in Kentucky's 75-65 victory over Tennessee on Tuesday night, his lowest total since logging just 13 minutes against Baylor on Dec. 1. In his previous four games – all starting assignments – he had averaged 24.8 minutes per game.

“There were times where he was like, 'You've got to get me out,'” Calipari said. “We had a shootaround the other day and he stooped and I said, 'What are you doing?' Just walking around. Again, nothing major just an old thing he never did anything about.

“Let me say this, we didn't have to do anything. We could have been, you're fine, put the knee sleeve on and go, but that's not how we operate here. If I err, I'm going to err on the side of the kid. Let's just be safe.”

The injury first surfaced years ago but began bothering the freshman again recently.

“We had been dealing with Willie - and again it was an injury, I hate to tell, you since junior high school – for the last couple of weeks,” Calipari said. “It just happened to where, alright let's go (get it fixed). But it's all good. We're one short for a short while. Thank god it was nothing major.”

In related injury news, Jon Hood returned to practice from a respiratory illness and Twany Beckham is out indefinitely with a lower back injury.

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