UK Football

One of UK’s top defensive players to miss start of training camp. Here’s why.

Kentucky sophomore defensive lineman Joshua Paschal returned to the field as a starter on Saturday, four months after being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma on the bottom of his foot this summer.
Kentucky sophomore defensive lineman Joshua Paschal returned to the field as a starter on Saturday, four months after being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma on the bottom of his foot this summer. Herald-Leader file photo

Sophomore defensive lineman Josh Paschal will be slowly easing back into fall camp after having surgery on his foot, Mark Stoops confirmed on Wednesday.

The player, who moved from a linebacker spot to the line during the spring, could be cleared to play by the opener, but the UK coach didn’t offer a specific timeline for Paschal’s return. He will miss some portion of training camp.

“I can’t tell you whether he’s going to play in that first game or not,” Stoops said in a meeting with the media before the Greater Louisville Alumni Luncheon.

“He’s going to be out for part of camp,” the coach continued. “It’s a matter of when the foot heals. There’s nothing that should linger from this injury at all, it’s just a matter of something that was cut out in the weight-bearing part of his foot.”

A UK spokesman clarified later that it’s not a lingering issue, just a spot on Paschal’s skin. The healing time is elongated because of the spot on his foot.

Paschal played in 13 games last season for UK as a true freshman and finished with 17 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

“He did have a minor procedure, so he’s going to be out for a little bit, It’s nothing major, but it’s in a weight-bearing part of his foot,” Stoops explained. “It’s weight bearing and is going to take some time. It’s nothing (major), just need to let it heal up.”

Even as a sophomore, Paschal has become a voice on the defensive side of the ball, his head coach said.

“He’s a leader in his way with his own demeanor,” Stoops said. “He’s not very boisterous and will talk when necessary, but everyone respects him because of the way he goes about his business.”

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