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Willie Cauley-Stein sheds light on injury he suffered in NCAA tournament

Jul 29, 2014, 5:22 PM EDT

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Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein missed the final three games of the NCAA tournament with an ankle injury. Until Tuesday afternoon, there wasn’t much else to know about the injury, other than a photo he posted 10 weeks after surgery, images of him riding around campus on a scooter and that he wouldn’t play in Kentucky’s trip in August.

On the Joe B and Denny Show on AM-790 KRD, Joe B. Hall mentioned he had recently talked to Cauley-Stein, who gave an update on his injury. This portion of the show was transcribed by Kyle Tucker, the Kentucky beat writer for the Courier Journal:

Speaking on the radio show he shares with former Louisville coach Denny Crum on AM-790 in Louisville, Hall said he’d recently asked Cauley-Stein at a UK practice about the extent of his injury. The junior big man told Hall he’d had a metal plate and three screws inserted to stabilize his ankle.

A UK spokesman could not confirm Hall’s account of Cauley-Stein’s procedure or elaborate in any way.

According to Hall, that might have been the reason the 7-footer decided to return instead of declaring for the NBA Draft, where he likely would have been a lottery pick. When Cauley-Stein announced he returned, he told Calipari that he enjoyed college too much, didn’t think he was ready for the NBA and wanted to win a national championship. The Wildcats enter next season as the nation’s top team.

Cauley-Stein averaged 6.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game as a sophomore. He is again projected as a lottery pick for the NBA Draft by DraftExpress.

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