March 28 (UPI) -- Kentucky Wildcats forward PJ Washington returned to practice Thursday for the first time since the SEC tournament and may have a chance to play against Houston in the Sweet 16.
"I don't know yet," Washington told reporters about playing against the Cougars. "I'm trying to get back to play but right now it's up in the air."
Washington missed both of Kentucky's first two NCAA tournament games with a sprained left foot. The forward had his cast removed from the foot and ditched his scooter this week. He warmed up with teammates in the first 15 minutes of the team's practice that was available to the media.
"I feel good," Washington said. "It's just about going out there and seeing if I can get back on the court."
Washington leads the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding this season with 14.8 points per game and 7.5 rebounds.
Kentucky, the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region, defeated Abilene Christian in the first round of the tournament and beat No. 7 seed Wofford to reach the Sweet 16.
"Thank goodness the game is at 9 [Central Time]," UK head coach John Calipari said. "We have more time. It's the first time I'll ever say this. I wish it was at 10. But, you know, greatest thing for him is the doc said that you can't hurt yourself. And if that were the case, I wouldn't let him play. Doc said, 'You're going to be in pain after the game if you do play, but you know how much pain can you deal with.'
"He wants to play. Now, it's can he play? We don't know."
Kentucky faces the third-seeded Cougars on Friday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.