Willie Cauley-Stein (ankle) improves

ByMyron Medcalf ESPN logo
Friday, April 4, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein hasn't ruled out a return from an ankle injury for Saturday's national semifinal matchup against Wisconsin at AT&T Stadium.

"I'm not really sure [if I'll play]," Cauley-Stein said Friday. "I will say that it is getting better day by day. I mean, it just kind of depends on how I'm feeling that day or what the doctors are saying or what Coach is saying."

Kentucky coach John Calipari said Monday that he doubted Cauley-Stein would see action in the Final Four, but the sophomore said he has made major strides in the past week, ditching his crutches and a protective boot Thursday.

Calipari said Cauley-Stein suffered an ankle injury during the Wildcats' win over Louisville in the Sweet 16.

"When I first injured it, I couldn't even walk on it," Cauley-Stein said. "I couldn't put [any] pressure on it. I was crutchin' for three days. I got rid of the crutches [Thursday]. I just said I'm not crutchin'. And then I had the boot on a little bit, and I said I'm not going to wear the boot. So I just threw on the shoes.

"I was kind of walking flat-footed yesterday. Today, I'm walking heel-to-toe and kind of been stretching it out. Before, I couldn't move it at all. Now I can move it back and forth. It's getting a lot better."

Kentucky, an 8-seed following a rocky regular season, has pulled it together in time to reach the last stage of the NCAA tournament and fulfill some of the lofty expectations that were placed upon the team prior to the season.

Cauley-Stein said he's happy for his teammates, but he also wishes he could join them.

"I feel like a kid in grade school," he said. "And when you're in grade school, recess is everything. And say you've got a broken arm or something and you can't do nothing and you're sitting there, seeing all your friends playing at recess. Your parents won't let you play. That's what it kind of feels like.

"Sometimes, I feel like all my teammates [are] having more fun than me because I can't really do anything."

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