UK Women's Basketball

Cats’ Cann cleared to play without mask on face

Kentucky forward Makenzie Cann has been cleared to play without the cumbersome mask that had been hindering her play since the Duke game on Dec. 29.

Before the game in Durham when she had her nose broken, Cann was averaging 31.5 minutes a game, but she’d struggled since then and was averaging just 19 minutes in the three games since then.

In those three games against Tennessee, Missouri and Texas A&M, the former Anderson County star made just one of her 11 shot attempts and had scored just three points.

Before the game at Alabama, Coach Matthew Mitchell said the “piece of plastic mashed to her face” had been a problem for Cann.

The Cats (10-6, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) have been banged up the past few games, including starting point guard Taylor Murray playing with a broken finger, forward Alyssa Rice has been playing on a sprained left ankle for more than a week and UK is without backup guard Jessica Hardin.

Hardin has missed three straight games while working through the concussion protocol. She did not make the trip to Alabama (14-2, 2-1) and likely is out for Sunday’s game against Georgia at Memorial Coliseum.

“We’ll check back on Friday and see if she’s ready for the game on Sunday,” he said. “You know, I doubt the track’s going to be she’s cleared and then she plays in the game. I would say that now we’re looking at a couple weeks where we’re going to have to try to get her back into some conditioning. But we’re hoping to have her back. We feel like she’ll bounce back. She feels like she’s getting a little bit better. So, we hope we can get her back. She gives us valuable minutes.”