The Return of PJ Washington

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson speaks during a news conference at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Thursday

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson speaks during a news conference at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Thursday

Kentucky initially noted they were trying to be precautionary when dealing with the injury, but the foot's condition forced Washington to miss two games during March Madness. Houston defeated Ohio State 74-59 while being led by Corey Davis Jr.'s 21 points, six rebounds and two assists, and Galen Robinson Jr.'s 13 points, three rebounds and five assists.

Will PJ Washington play for Kentucky against Houston in Friday night's semifinals?

Earlier in the week, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said Kentucky was a Final Four-caliber team and national championship contender with Washington.

"Yeah, we're a very different team without him in the lineup", graduate transfer forward Reid Travis said. The doctor said, 'you're going to be in pain after the game if you do play, but you know how much pain you can deal with.' He wants to play.

Calipari said he could envision Washington doing anything from not playing at all to logging 15-18 minutes.

"Thank goodness the game is at 9", Wildcats coach John Calipari said.

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Since the NCAA Tournament began Solid Blue fans have had one question, when will PJ Washington return?

"If he doesn't play at all, I would not be surprised", he said. "I don't know. So, we will see", Calipari told reporters Thursday. "But when I got the news that I could come back and play, I was happy".

"If anybody in this tournament right now takes their best player off the court, they're not going to be as good", Calipari said. If he goes in, he plays well, and he says, 'sub me, ' I'll sub him. Washington did not play in last week's first round game against Abilene Christian or in the Wildcats' second round win over Wofford.

"We learned that we can fight", freshman guard Tyler Herro said. "We don't win the game today without him".

Kentucky plays Houston at about 10 p.m. EDT on Friday.

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