Updates on UK’s injured guards

Jennifer O’Neill, Kentucky’s leading scorer, sat out as a precaution after straining her left patella tendon while scrambling for a loose ball in practice on Saturday.

There is no structural damage, Coach Matthew Mitchell said, and listed O’Neill as day to day. UK starts Southeastern Conference play at Alabama on Friday.

“It was just too painful to play today, so now it’s basically a pain tolerance issue,” he said. “Hopefully it’s not more than a couple days, but it could be a couple weeks. Everybody’s body reacts differently.”

As for fellow senior guard Bria Goss, Mitchell said the plan is to remove the cast on her broken thumb at the four-week mark and assess things. If doctors go with four weeks exactly, it would be the day after the Cats go to top-ranked South Carolina on Jan. 11.

Initially, the injury was given a 4-6 week return timeframe.

Whenever she recovers from the break, Goss will be able to go back to playing immediately, her coach said.

“She feels good; she’s practicing every day,” he said. “We don’t throw her the ball to her, but she cuts, plays and runs sprints and everything.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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