UK Men's Basketball

UK basketball player EJ Montgomery ruled out of game against Eastern Kentucky

Kentucky Wildcats forward EJ Montgomery (23) shoots past Michigan State Spartans forward Marcus Bingham Jr. (30) during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
Kentucky Wildcats forward EJ Montgomery (23) shoots past Michigan State Spartans forward Marcus Bingham Jr. (30) during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. aslitz@herald-leader.com

Sophomore forward EJ Montgomery will not play in Kentucky’s game against Eastern Kentucky on Friday night due to an injury sustained earlier in the week.

UK announced about an hour before tipoff that Montgomery suffered a right ankle injury in the Wildcats’ victory over No. 1-ranked Michigan State on Tuesday night, and that setback would keep him out of the Cats’ home opener against the Colonels on Friday.

Montgomery is being evaluated on a daily basis by the UK medical staff.

In Tuesday night’s season opener, Montgomery got the start but played just 14 minutes — recording four points, two rebounds and two blocked shots — in the Cats’ 69-62 win over Michigan State. Junior center Nick Richards played 25 minutes off the bench in that game. Richards was an expected starter for Kentucky this season, but he suffered a sprained ankle in the team’s first exhibition game and was questionable going into the season opener.

UK’s other frontcourt player, Nate Sestina, played 31 minutes in a starting role against Michigan State.

With Montgomery sidelined and freshman Dontaie Allen still recovering from a knee injury, the Wildcats will have just eight scholarship players for Friday night’s game against Eastern Kentucky.

Richards and Sestina both started against the Colonels.

Asked about Montgomery’s status following UK’s 91-49 victory over Eastern Kentucky, John Calipari simply said: “He’s hurt.” Calipari did later say that Montgomery should be considered “day to day” moving forward.

UK’s next game is Tuesday night against Evansville.

Ben Roberts covers UK basketball, football and other sports for the Lexington Herald-Leader and has specialized in UK basketball recruiting for the past several years. He also maintains the Next Cats recruiting blog, which features the latest news on the Wildcats’ recruiting efforts.
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