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Kentucky freshman Jarred Vanderbilt out three months with foot injury

Kentucky v North Carolina

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 26: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament South Regional at FedExForum on March 26, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Kentucky freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt is expected to miss the first three months of the season with a left foot injury, according to a release from the school. Vanderbilt will require surgery on the foot as he’ll likely return in January.

A McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, the 6-foot-8 Vanderbilt is one of the more versatile freshmen in the country this season as he was expected to provide defense, athleticism and some secondary ball handling and passing to the Wildcats this season.

“I just want to let the Big Blue Nation know I’m going to be fine and looking forward to coming back better than ever,” Vanderbilt said in the release. “I’ve had some setbacks before and I’ve come back from all of them. After talking with my doctor and my family, I feel good about the plan they have in place for me. I’m anxious to get this right and return to my team so I can put this behind me for good. I can’t wait to get back to my brothers and help us compete for a national championship this season.”

Vanderbilt suffered the injury on Friday during team skill instruction. The injury is concerning because Vanderbilt has an injury history with his legs and feet. Vanderbilt missed time before his senior season after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot and also missed time this summer following an injury to his right ankle in the Jordan Brand Classic.

Kentucky should be able to withstand the loss of Vanderbilt, since they are so deep in their frontcourt, but this loss will surely hurt their depth and Vanderbilt’s individual development.