Kentucky’s Calipari expects Washington to play in opener

Big Tournament
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FILE – In this , Saturday, March 9, 2019 file photo, Kentucky’s PJ Washington (25) reacts after being fouled near Florida’s Mike Okauru (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky. Tennessee forward Grant Williams is the Associated Press’ Southeastern Conference player of the year and Mississippi’s Kermit Davis […]

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Kentucky coach John Calipari expects scoring and rebounding leader PJ Washington to play in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday despite seeing a foot specialist.

Washington spent several days in a walking boot “as a precaution” before the second-seeded Wildcats open Midwest Region play against 15th-seeded Abilene Christian.

Washington sprained a foot in the Southeastern Conference Tournament against Tennessee. Calipari says X-rays and MRI results were negative, but team doctors wanted him to see a specialist.

Calipari says Washington wants to play in the first round.

The 6-foot-8, 228-pound Washington is averaging 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds. The All-Southeastern Conference selection by The Associated Press and league coaches is under consideration for national honors such as the Naismith and Wooden awards.

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