Kentucky Wildcats' Derek Willis to miss two weeks with finger injury

It's been a dangerous first week of basketball practice for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Junior forward Derek Willis suffered a finger injury on his left hand during Saturday's workout, UK announced. He is expected to miss approximately two weeks while the injury heals.

Earlier this week, junior guard Dominique Hawkins had surgery to repair a broken bone in his right hand. He'll be sidelined for at least four weeks.

Kentucky is targeting an Oct. 27 return for Willis at the Blue-White Scrimmage.

“I’m happy that it’s not something that will keep Derek out very long, but I’m disappointed because I really wanted him to participate in tomorrow’s open practice,” UK head coach John Calipari said in a statement released by the program. “It’s nothing serious and he will be back in a couple weeks, but I’m disappointed for him because he had been doing so well. He deserved to show his stuff tomorrow. He’s made great strides and will bounce back from this.”

Willis played in 19 games last season, averaging 1.3 points. The 6-foot-9 native of Mt. Washington, Ky., was hoping to have a breakout season with the Wildcats, who lost seven players to the NBA ranks from last year's 38-1 team.

“The drills that everyone hates to do, those mean so much to the game and they progress the game state so much,” Willis said. “If you don’t do it you could lose a game off something stupid like that. That’s just where my head’s at right now. Taking care of the little things. The shooting and all that stuff will take care of itself. You’re talented enough to figure it out.”

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