No. 4 Kentucky will be at full strength on Friday for the first time in awhile, as it is set to welcome graduate transfer big man Reid Travis back from an injury that's sidelined him the last five games, Wildcats coach John Calipari said Thursday.

Travis has been recovering from a sprained knee he sustained on Feb. 19 against Missouri.

"He's been terrific in practice," said Calipari, confirming he intends to plug in the 6-8, 238 pound senior potentially on a minutes restriction. "Kind of surprising," he added. "Conditioning looked OK. Asked him, 'How'd you do that?' 'I was on that treadmill and that water going hard.' So he'll be fine."

Some concern arose last week about Travis's status moving forward when Calipari said he'd be "doing backflips" if Travis played, potentially alluding to either a more serious-than-expected injury or a setback in his recovery. But Travis will make his return to action on Friday against Alabama in the SEC quarterfinals, a welcome return for a team that has gone 4-1 since his absence but could use his brute strength and size in the frontcourt.

All injuries are different, but Duke freshman Zion Williamson sustained a similar injury on Feb. 20. Williamson returned Thursday after missing as many games, and he opened the first half 9-of-9 with 21 points, 5 steals and 9 rebounds. If the Wildcats can get half that production from Travis, who is averaging 11.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game, then they'll enter the postseason as a potential favorite in the loaded field in the SEC tourney.