Cauley-Stein has minor knee procedure

The Cats could be without freshman center Willie Cauley-Stein for an undetermined amount of time after he had a minor surgical procedure to his left knee, UK confirmed on Friday.

Kentucky may be a man short as it travels to Auburn on Saturday.

Freshman center Willie Cauley-Stein had what UK officials describe as "a minor surgical procedure" to his left knee on Thursday to help alleviate a previously-existing injury that had begun to affect him again in recent games and practice sessions. He played only 15 minutes, his third-lowest total of the season, in Tuesday's 75-65 win over Tennessee.

"He won't practice (Friday)," UK coach John Calipari said. "But he's walking around, so we'll see."

Typical recovery time for a scoped knee is three to four weeks, but UK says Cauley-Stein's status is undetermined at this time.

"We could have been, 'You're fine. Put the knee sleeve on and go. Deal with it,' but that's not how we operate here," Calipari said. "If I err, I'm going to err on the side of the kid. Let's just be safe."

The 7-footer from Kansas is averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He is also second on the team with 31 blocked shots. He recently moved into the starting lineup alongside fellow freshman Nerlens Noel in what Calipari calls his "big team" with freshman Alex Poythress at the small forward spot.

Calipari also said Friday that junior swingman Jon Hood is set to return to the court for the Wildcats (11-5, 2-1 SEC) after missing the last three weeks with a respiratory illness. He may lean on junior guard Jarrod Polson for more minutes against a smaller Auburn (8-8, 2-1 SEC) squad.

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