Jen Smith on Basketball

Mitchell: UK not rushing Epps’ return

Kentucky star Makayla Epps still has not been cleared to practice after suffering a concussion less than a week ago in practice.

The junior, who was going to miss the opener on Friday night per the terms of her suspension for an offseason incident, will continue to be monitored, Coach Matthew Mitchell said on Thursday.

“Today’s a big day for her just to see where she is, but one thing you have to make certain is that you take care of the player and we’re just going to not rush into anything and make sure she’s ready to roll when it’s time,” Mitchell said of Epps, a First Team All-Southeastern Conference guard who led UK in scoring last season at 14.9 points a game.

She would be a big lift on Sunday when the No. 17 Cats travel to No. 15 Arizona State. The Sun Devils return four starters from a team that went 29-6 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

But Mitchell said there is “no pressure for Epps to play on Sunday whatsoever. … She really got her bell rung there and it’s been a tough thing to get past, but she’s doing well. And we anticipate her making a full recovery, we just don’t know when.”