Jen Smith on UK Football

Stoops: QB Barker will have back surgery, miss remainder of season

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops confirmed on Thursday night that quarterback Drew Barker will have surgery on his injured back and miss the rest of the season.

The sophomore, who injured his back early in the third game of the season against New Mexico State, has not seen the progression from treatment and his surgery has been schedule for Thanksgiving week.

“We’ve exhausted all treatment that doesn’t involve surgery and it has not improved to the level that our doctors are comfortable with,” Stoops said.

He likely will be allowed to return in a limited way by the start of spring practice, Stoops confirmed on Thursday.

The 6-foot-3 redshirt sophomore from Burlington had started all three games this season, completing 50 percent of his passes for 334 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions.

His head coach hinted that some of Barker’s misfires likely were a direct result of his nagging injury.

Barker lasted just three plays against New Mexico State before being carted off the field.

Because he redshirted when he arrived at UK, it’s unlikely that Barker would be able to get another redshirt for the injury.