Bradshaw will fit right in with Wildcats once he makes full return to court

Published 3:13 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Aaron Bradshaw is back on the court and the freshman center hinted that he will make his Kentucky debut sooner rather than later.

Bradshaw, who is recovering from a foot injury, returned to practice last week and took to social media Sunday night to update his status.

“I’m not allowed to say it (when I will return), but I’ll give you a week,” Bradshaw said on Instagram. “… I’ve been working out with the team, though.”

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Bradshaw won’t play in No. 12 Kentucky’s showdown against eighth-ranked Miami in the ACC/SEC Challenge Tuesday night in Lexington. Based on his statement, he could return against UNC-Wilmington on Saturday or Penn a week later.

Kentucky coach John Calipari confirmed Bradshaw was working out behind the scenes following the Wildcats’ 118-82 win over Marshall last Friday night.

“Aaron’s been practicing but just not live,” Calipari said. “He’s been with us 5 on 0, drill work, all of that kind of stuff. He is just not the competitive man-on-man, body-to-body. We just haven’t started with him on that.”

Kentucky assistant coach Chuck Martin said Monday that Bradshaw is “in good enough shape to get up and down (the court)” and added Bradshaw will fit in the team’s current structure once he’s cleared to return to the court.

“I think his skill set fits the way we play,” Martin said. “He’s a seven-footer that can protect the rim defensively, which is what would be unbelievable for us without compromising on offense because he’s skilled enough to shoot the three, skilled enough to put the ball on the floor, which makes it really, really exciting for us.”

Martin added once Bradshaw returns, he will “alleviate pressure off” Trey Mitchell, who has been manning the post as the Wildcats await reinforcement in the paint.

“We’ve been asking (Mitchell) to play close to 35 minutes a night, and he’s been incredible in terms of not getting in foul trouble and and playing hard every possession,” he said. “I think, Aaron, you know, when we get him back, will help Trey out. We’ll be a better defensive team, I think, because we can protect the rim a little bit.”