Nate Sestina Adds to Serious Injury Woes for #9 Kentucky Wildcats


The shocking upset at the hands of unranked Evansville might be the headline story of this young Kentucky Wildcats basketball season. When the now #9 but then #1 Wildcats went down it made as much waves nationally as just about any college hoops story since season tip-off.

For those much closer to and/or inside the Kentucky Wildcats program however, the REAL story is injuries. Nate Sestina, a Bucknell graduate transfer wing who fills an important role and adds depth at a position where it’s greatly needed, is the latest UK player to get hurt. Sestina suffered a left wrist fracture that will keep him out for a little less than a month. 

In total, eight different Cats have gotten injured this season, and that explains how erratic this team has been thus far. If you’re playing the odds and making free college basketball predictions this season, then you probably noticed how UK has indeed been very up and down thus far. While they did lose to an average mid-major in Evansville, they also beat Michigan State when the Spartans were #1. Although that win has lost some luster now as MSU went down again in the Maui Invitational to Virginia Tech.

“We haven’t been a full team in over a month,” Kentucky Coach John Calipari said this morning as the school announced the Sestina injury.

“Nate goes to shoot a layup, it gets blocked, he falls back, goes to stop himself (and) breaks his wrist/hand. He’s out…approximately four weeks.”

Sestina is averaging 7.3 points and 7.2 rebounds this season.

john calipari

Calipari is absolutely right, Kentucky has been missing pieces, or had key pieces at less than 100% for all of the month of November. Freshmen Dontaie Allen and Zan Payne are rehabilitating from injuries.

EJ Montgomery has missed three games due to an ankle injury.

Immanuel Quickley missed the Utah Valley win (a game that gave Big Blue Nation a scare that another Evansville was about to happen) with a chest injury, Ashton Hagans has been playing through the pain of lower leg injury, former McDonald’s All-American Nick Richards had an ankle sprain which forced him to miss a preseason scrimmage.

Kahlil Whitney dislocated his left pinky against Utah Valley, but he’s been playing through the injury. Overall, UK is just going to have to continue relying on their defense to win games, at least until the other end of the floor gels and comes into its own.

Coach Cal knows that his team will get zero sympathy nationally for their injury woes. He made a call to action to the BBN.

“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.’

kentucky wiildcats

This was the money quote right here.

“Remember this: There’s not one person outside the Big Blue Nation or the Commonwealth of Kentucky feeling bad for us.”

Up next for Kentucky is a Black Friday evening clash vs. UAB in Rupp Arena (7 p.m. on SEC Network).

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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