PJ Washington injury update: Status of Kentucky star remains unclear with Sweet 16 looming

The status of Kentucky star forward PJ Washington remains unclear as No. 2 seed Kentucky prepares for its Sweet 16 matchup on Friday against No. 3 seed Houston in the Midwest Regional. Washington has missed the last two games while recovering from a sprained foot he suffered against Tennessee in the SEC Tournament. Last week, Kentucky confirmed he was in a walking boot for precautionary reasons but he was spotted at Kentucky's game on the bench wearing a hard cast as a result of a specialist's recommendation.

Wildcats coach John Calipari said on his weekly radio show Monday that he is still unsure about Washington's status this week, but did add that he's expected to shed the cast on Tuesday to determine how far he has recovered to this point.

"The options were the boot or a cast, and the cast would speed up the healing, so we said to put the cast on," said Calipari on Thursday after Kentucky's first-round win. "Everything was negative as far as the x-rays, but it was a sprained foot. They just want to keep it calm, and so that's what it is."

In Washington's absence, Kentucky has advanced to the Sweet 16 by defeating No. 16 seed Abilene Christian and No. 7 seed Wofford, but the path will only get more challenging from here.

After averaging team-highs in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (7.5) on the season, Kentucky needs its star back -- and fast. But the foot injury has been giving Washington pain he simply cannot play through, and the Wildcats must hope they can survive until he's back at full strength. 

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