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Kentucky Basketball

BREAKING: Nate Sestina Breaks Wrist in Practice; Will be Out Approx. 4 Weeks

November 27, 2019

Nate Sestina broke his wrist in Tuesday’s practice and will be out approximately 4 weeks, according to John Calipari via a video he tweeted out on Twitter this morning. Nate was apparently shooting a layup in practice, got blocked, and broke it as he braced himself to hit the floor. Nate has had surgery and will be on the road to recovery, looking to hopefully be back by the end of December. The Louisville game looms large on December 28th, so it would be nice to have Nate back, at least for depth reasons, as the Cats face the Cards in Rupp. Beating Louisville would be another huge win on UK’s resume, so it would be nice to be full strength by the time that game rolls around.

In Nate’s absence, it will be up to players like Keion Brooks and Kahlil Whitney to pick up the slack. The two freshmen will be counted on to log more minutes, compete on the boards on both ends, and communicate and play solid defense. Nate is averaging 7.3 points, and 7.2 rebounds on the season, and has been a steady contributor on both ends. The statistical slack may not be a huge thing to take up for guys like Brooks and Whitney, along with EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards, but Nate’s steadiness and on-court communication is something that is valuable to a young team like UK. This will hopefully turn out to something of a blessing for Brooks and Whitney, as they will be able to gain experience and have their learning curve accelerated somewhat by increased minutes. Brooks has shown an ability to get tough rebounds and offensive putbacks and possesses great athletic ability on both ends. Whitney is still trying to find his role, and that will change somewhat as he will be put in the small ball 4 position at times in the next 4 weeks. 

The two experienced guys in the frontcourt, EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards will likely log more minutes as well, so it is imperative that Richards continues his momentum and progression. Nick has been impressive so far this season, and UK will need that to continue. Montgomery, after recovering from an injury in his own right, will look to continue to get back into the swing of things and will be relied upon to step up in Sestina’s absence.

Look for Brooks, however, to be the main possible beneficiary in Sestina’s absence. Keion can fill the role that Nate played on both ends, so the BBN needs to get behind him and the other bigs to cheer on their development in this next month of the season. Calipari had this to say about the challenge for the next 4 weeks. "We need our fans now more than ever," Calipari said. "Coming to games, cheering, picking these kids up. They go on a run that they don't play well, cheer them (and) get them going. So we're shorthanded again and your coach is saying, 'Bring it. Let's go.' Remember this: There's not one person outside the Big Blue Nation or the Commonwealth of Kentucky feeling bad for us."

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