Good News For kentucky wildcats: He has return to play finally……

The Kentucky men’s basketball team is finally back to full health. Fifth-year forward Tre Mitchell returned after a four-game absence (left shoulder injury) for the Cats in Saturday’s high-scoring home win over Arkansas.

Mitchell had missed four straight games — and six of UK’s last seven games overall — after suffering a left shoulder injury early in the second half of Kentucky’s home win over Ole Miss on Feb. 13.

That game against Ole Miss represented the only time this season the Wildcats had been at full strength, and that lasted for only 24 game minutes before Mitchell’s injury. But in Saturday’s 111-102 win over the Razorbacks, Kentucky was whole again for all 40 minutes.

Mitchell played 16 minutes against the Razorbacks, scoring two points, grabbing three rebounds, committing two turnovers and recording an assist and a steal each. Mitchell missed all five of his shots from the field (including a trio of 3-point attempts), but he was a plus-15 for Kentucky when he was on the floor.

Both of Mitchell’s points came from the free-throw line during his initial run of playing time in the first half: Mitchell had a 4:58 stretch of game time from the 16:09 to the 11:11 mark in the first half. His first points in several weeks came after he pump-faked a 3, drove to the rim and got fouled.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari said on UK’s pregame radio show that Mitchell would be returning to action for the Wildcats against Arkansas. Earlier this week, Calipari indicated Mitchell’s return to the court would be coming sooner rather than later. “I think so,” Calipari said following Kentucky’s buzzer-beating win at Mississippi State when asked if Mitchell was nearing a return.

“He’ll practice a couple days and let’s see where he is.” On his weekly radio show Wednesday night, Calipari reiterated that Mitchell’s playing status for Saturday would be determined by how he fared in practice in the days before the contest. Obviously, those days of practice went well.

Mitchell, who entered Saturday’s game averaging 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists this season, had started all 22 games that he’d appeared in this season before the Arkansas contest. Sophomore Adou Thiero had started in Mitchell’s place for all six games that Mitchell had missed this season, and Thiero started again Saturday with Mitchell coming off the bench.

“We like our depth, and we like the ability to be able to play different ways,” UK assistant coach Chin Coleman said earlier this week. “I think, obviously, having Tre’s experience and all of that stuff, he’s like a traffic cop out there for us: He kind of directs traffic by being a secondary ball handler, we put the ball in his hand, we play through him a lot, we trust him.

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” The Wildcats went 4-2 this season in games Mitchell hasn’t played in, with wins over Vanderbilt, Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State, and losses to Gonzaga and LSU.

“We’ve just got to figure out different ways to play with or without (Mitchell),” Coleman added. “As we’ve done the whole season, figuring out ways to play without this guy, these two guys … it’s kind of been like a musical chair type of thing for Coach Cal to kind of figure all this stuff out. I think for the most part he’s done a great job.”

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