Kansas basketball coach Bill Self provided a series of injury updates for his current team during his appearance on his “Hawk Talk” radio show Tuesday night.
Here’s a quick look at the latest on the four grantees hit by injuries so far this season.
• Camera Martin
The super-senior Big Men separated shoulders before the start of the season, hoping to return in time for Big 12 Conference play to begin on December 31.
It sounds like this timeline has been shifted up a bit.
“[Martin could]potentially play Missouri (December 10),” Self said Tuesday night. “That would be a goal. Indiana (Dec. 17) would probably be more definitive if he didn’t suffer a setback.”
It remains to be seen what role the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Martin could play on this team. But given that KU’s other bigs have only been given limited playing time, and Self and his staff are looking for more production on the 5, it’s not hard to imagine him getting a shot at real minutes.
• Kevin McCullar Jr.
McCullar is dealing with a groin strain and missed Monday’s win against Texas Southern after initially injuring his groin in KU’s loss to Tennessee four days earlier.
Self said after the TSU win that they wanted to be extra careful with McCullar because his history of persistent injuries kept him out for a while.
The initial hope was that he could practice on Wednesday and play Seton Hall on Thursday – 8 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN – but Self said Tuesday night McCullar was “a real longshot” for the Jayhawks’ next game, adding: “Hopefully we’ll bring him back for Missouri as well.”
• Bobby Pettiford
Like McCullar, Pettiford injured himself in the Tennessee loss, pulling a hamstring in the first few minutes and sitting out the rest of the night.
He also missed the Texas Southern game and Self said after Monday’s win that they wanted to let Pettiford rest as much as possible so treatment would help the hamstring heal and not cause it to tear.
His initial hope was that Pettiford would miss just a week or two and be back for the Dec. 10 game in Mizzou, and on Tuesday Self said there was still “an outside shot” for the backup point guard to play against could tigers.
“It’s probably more like a two-week injury on top of the week he’s already been out,” Self said on his radio show.
• Kyle Cuff Jr.
The redshirt freshman guard, who tore his MCL and PCL ligaments in a no-contact situation in a mid-November practice, remains sidelined while working toward a return.
Originally expected to miss 10-12 weeks, Self said Tuesday that Cuffe would likely be out until the end of January and that he likely won’t be 100% fit either when he is able to return to basketball activities.
All of those injuries — especially those of McCullar and Pettiford — left the Jayhawks a little short-handed for Thursday’s game against Seton Hall, which Self said would be “a tough game.”
Seton Hall goes into the matchup with a 4-3 aggregate score and is 57th on the current KenPom.com rankings. Kansas is currently 17th at 7-1.
The Pirates have won against Monmouth, St. Peter, Wagner and Memphis and lost at home to Iowa and to Oklahoma and Siena on a neutral court.
Seton Hall is led by Shaheen Holloway, a freshman head coach and former Seton Hall player who last season was the head coach at Saint Peter’s, which became the first No. 15 in NCAA history to reach the Elite Eight.
The Peacocks and Holloway were the darlings of last year’s NCAA tournament, beating 2nd-ranked Kentucky in Round 1, 7th-ranked Murray State and 3rd-ranked Purdue in Round 2 in the Sweet 16 before falling to North Carolina in the Elite Eight .