LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Mark Stoops met with reporters after practice Thursday and was asked about a few injury situations before the Wildcats travel to Mississippi State for a 4 p.m. ET bout with the Bulldogs on Saturday.
Kentucky junior linebacker Jordan Jones will suit up for the Wildcats on Saturday for the first time since he injured his left shoulder in Week 2 against Eastern Kentucky. Jones led the SEC in solo tackles last season, and away from the stat sheet he’s known for seemingly limitless energy and an often unpredictable personality.
Stoops said Jones is close to his normal self on the field.
“He’s been back for a couple of weeks so that was good that we had the bye week where we could just get him in some reps without any contact at all,” Stoops said. “Get some looks and mentally get back into it a bit. I think that really helped him. Then this week stepping it up more, as far as a bit more contact and seeing things, seeing some run fits, pass drops and so on.”
And as for that aforementioned energy?
“I was out at practice yesterday and I was standing behind Darius [West]. Jordan was Jordan, flying around, and Darius turned around and said, ‘He’s back.’ You know what I mean?” Stoops said with a laugh.
There was also injury news about junior Jordan Bonner. The reserve outside linebacker has missed time and Stoops said he’d be out awhile. No timetable or injury was specified.
Senior receiver Charles Walker, who missed Kentucky’s game against Missouri two weeks ago, will be ready to go at Mississippi State. Walker is a starting slot receiver and serves as Kentucky’s primary punt returner.
“We’re in pretty good shape,” Stoops said. “We had two pretty good practices this week. Tuesday and Wednesday and got a few guys banged up in that practice, but overall, midseason, we’ll be fine.”