Kentucky will begin its Southeastern Conference Tournament run short a starter.
Freshman KeKe McKinney will not play in the opener versus Alabama on Thursday while working through the concussion protocol, a school spokesman confirmed.
The forward suffered an injury during the Mississippi State game on Sunday and is still working through the concussion protocol. McKinney made the trip to Nashville with the team.
The 6-foot-1 forward from Knoxville had a career-best 12 points versus Alabama on Jan. 25 when the Cats won 79-54 in Memorial Coliseum. She made six of her seven field goal attempts and added five rebounds in the victory.
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McKinney, a vocal, energetic leader even as a freshman, has started 17 of Kentucky’s 30 games this season, including 11 in a row. She’s averaging 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds this season.
Kentucky tips off with Alabama at 1 p.m. EST on the SEC Network. The winner of that game will meet unbeaten and second-ranked Mississippi State in the quarterfinals on Friday.