Wildcats' Jasper Suffers Setback in Practice

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky point guard Derrick Jasper left practice with sharp pain in his surgically repaired left knee Thursday.

The 6-foot-6 sophomore had micro-fracture surgery in June and hasn't played a game this season for the Wildcats (4-3), who will try to snap a two-game losing streak when they play UAB (7-4) Saturday. Jasper began practicing at full-speed with the team this week.

UK head coach Billy Gillispie said it was the first time Jasper had to leave practice early. "They say he's doing fine in his rehab, but it's not good when you have to see him leave early," Gillispie said. "Hopefully he'll be ready to roll tomorrow. We're a totally different group when he's out there."

Jasper averaged 3.9 points per game and 3.6 rebounds while starting 27 of 34 games as a freshman, earning him a spot on Southeastern Conference's all-freshman team.

Gillispie was hopeful before the season started that Jasper would be able to play this season, but there is no timetable for his immediate return.

"He's been practicing, going as hard as he can, but this is a really big injury that he's trying to come back from," UK senior guard Ramel Bradley said. "He's shown a lot of courage trying to come back and going full speed in practice already."

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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