Injuries cast a black cloud over win

The injury woes for the Kentucky Wildcats continue. In his Sunday teleconference Rich Brooks reporter that linebacker Braxton Kelley and offensive tackle Fatu Turituri become the latest victims. Kelley and Turituri both injured knees during the Kentucky victory over Mississippi State on Saturday, and both await MRIs to determine the extent of their injuries. Numerous other Wildcats are banged up, and were not able to practice today.

Rich Brooks isn't about to let anything take away from his team's 13-7 win over Mississippi State Saturday. How could he with the way the Wildcats have struggled to get a win this year?

However, Brooks also had to spend way more time today going over the injury report from Saturday's win than he would have liked.

Linebacker Braxton Kelley and offensive tackle Fatu Turituri both sustained knee injuries. Both have a MRI pending to determine the exact extent of the injury. Brooks says both "are doubtful or out" for this Saturday's game against Auburn.

"We didn't think Braxton's injury was as serious after the game as it appears now. We are just hopeful the MRI will not show significant damage to either one," Brooks said.

But there's more problems for the Cats than just those two. Freshman offensive tackle James Alexander couldn't practice Sunday because of joint sprain in his right shoulder. He played most of the game after Turituri went down on the third play. Alexander missed a few plays when he hurt his shoulder, but he came back and impressed Brooks.

"It shows he has some toughness for a true freshman. The shoulder was definitely bothering him and he handled himself well," Brooks said. "He's just turned 18. He is a youngster who is athletic and tall and a long armed a little bit like Aaron Miller (a starter last year as a true freshman).

"I think he's going to be an outstanding player. To come in against some defensive linemen who are very adept at rushing the passer and are very physical and do a good job not only in pass blocking but also in run blocking was extremely impressive."

Others who couldn't practice Sunday were running back Arliss Beach (concussion, wrist), cornerback David Jones (ankle), receiver Keenan Burton (foot), cornerback Bo Smith (groin), cornerback Antoine Huffman (hamstring), linebacker Wesley Woodyard (hip contusion), tight end Jacob Tamme (foot), offensive guard Trai Williams (foot) and center Matt McCutchan (knee, ankle).

"Matt played a great game. He missed four plays and then just toughed it out on that knee and ankle. Today the ankle is the bigger problem," Brooks said.

But one problem the Cats didn't have was having to think what might have been because this time they got a win Brooks says the team "desperately" needed.

"They just seemed a lot happier today," Brooks said. "There has not been a lot to be happy about the last several games where we had chances to get something done and failed. They finally get to have a little bit of light heartiness and look at the (game) tape in a positive manner."

South Carolina's win over Tennessee and Mississippi's play against Auburn can also give the Cats hope that they could still win more games. "We are hopeful of that. Obviously we've got to do a better job in taking care of the ball, but our players are playing with more confidence than they did three games ago," Brooks said.

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