January 18, 2013
Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein's status is uncertain after having a procedure on his knee.
Mark Humphrey/AP

Kentucky has announced that forward Willie Cauley-Stein is out after undergoing a `minor procedure' on his left knee.

The 7-foot freshman did not practice Friday before the Wildcats (11-5, 2-1) departed for Saturday night's Southeastern Conference game at Auburn.

Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy would not say if Cauley-Stein had surgery, but said the freshman's availability for Saturday is uncertain after Thursday's procedure.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said Cauley-Stein's injury was an old one that he could have been played through, but the coaching staff decided to "play it safe" and address the injury now.

Cauley-Stein had started the Wildcats' last five games and is averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in nearly 21 minutes per game this season. His 31 blocks rank third in the SEC.

"It just happened to where, all right let's go" get it fixed, Calipari said. "But it's all good. We're one short for a short while. Thank God it was nothing major."

Cauley-Stein played just 15 minutes in Kentucky's 75-65 victory over Tennessee on Tuesday night, his lowest total since logging 13 minutes against Baylor on Dec. 1. In his previous four games - all starts alongside fellow freshman Nerlens Noel - he had averaged 24.8 minutes per game.

Cauley-Stein had been playing with discomfort recently, leading to the surgery, Calipari said.

"There were times where he was like, `You've got to get me out,' " the coach said. "We had a shoot-around the other day and he stopped and I said, `What are you doing?' Just walking around. Again, nothing major just an old thing he never did anything about.

"We could have been, `you're fine, put the knee sleeve on and go,' but that's not how we operate here. If I err, I'm going to err on the side of the kid. Let's just be safe."

Peevy also said that senior reserve guard Twany Beckham is also out with a lower back injury. Junior guard Jon Hood returned to practice Thursday from an illness that sidelined him for the past six games.

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