Jen Smith on UK Football

QB Drew Barker’s back surgery went smoothly, Stoops confirms

Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker underwent successful surgery on his injured back on Tuesday and everything went well, Coach Mark Stoops confirmed after practice on Wednesday.

“I was able to see him when he was in the recovery room,” the Kentucky coach said. “It was great. He was actually in a lot better shape than I thought he would that soon. He actually told me his leg felt better as he sat there.

“So that was good news. The doctor had good news. So, seems like it went smooth. We’ll see.”

Barker went home for the holiday break to recover.

The quarterback, who started the Cats’ first three games, had been battling some back pain off and on over the past year. He took a hit early at Florida, which caused more discomfort and then another one in the next game versus New Mexico State knocked him out for the rest of the season.

Barker likely will be allowed to return in a limited way by the start of spring practice, Stoops said earlier this month.

The 6-foot-3 redshirt sophomore completed 50 percent of his passes for 334 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions before the injury.