Jen Smith on Basketball

A quick update on Epps’ shoulder injury, prognosis

After falling underneath the Kentucky basket in the third quarter, Makayla Epps sustained what she called a “sprained AC joint” in her right shooting shoulder.

The junior guard went back in the game shortly after and played basically using one arm for a bit.

“I ain’t never felt such hurt,” she said after Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament win over Oklahoma on Monday night at Memorial Coliseum. “A lot of pain. I couldn’t lift my arm.”

When he saw her playing with just one arm, Coach Matthew Mitchell said: “I was trying to get her out. I didn’t think it looked safe. It didn’t look good to me. Doctors know more than I do, but I just asked her, ‘If you can’t go and we can’t make it out there, I don’t want you to get hurt.’”

Epps’ pain lessened after the team doctor gave her a Lydocaine shot to help numb it. The shoulder will get X-rays and be reassessed on Tuesday morning, Epps said. The guard finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Epps said she does not expect the injury to keep her out of the Sweet 16 game at Rupp Arena against Washington. “I should be fine come Friday,” she said, noting that she expected some not-so-fun discomfort on Tuesday.

“We’ll shut her down tomorrow and let her take as much time as she needs and get her ready for Friday,” Mitchell said.