Kentucky's Calipari expects Washington to play in opener

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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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Updated March 20, 2019