Jemarl Baker Has Knee Surgery; Expected to Miss Three Months

Jemarl Baker Surgery Photo | Quinn Foster, UK Athletics

Kentucky freshman shooting guard Jemarl Baker is expected to miss three months after undergoing left knee surgery last week, the team announced Thursday.

“I’m disappointed I won’t be able to join my brothers on the court to start the season, but I’m looking forward to getting my knee back to 100 percent so I can help this team chase our goals,” said Baker. “I want to thank everyone for the well-wishes and I can’t wait to get back out there with the team.”

As a recruit, Baker was ranked as the No. 72 overall player in the Class of 2017 and the No. 11 player from the state of California, per 247Sports.

Baker arrived at Kentucky in the summer and participated in workouts. After experiencing soreness in his left knee during the preseason, he underwent further evaluation and was recently recommended to have surgery.

With the AP Top-25 Preseason Poll released on Thursday, Kentucky will enter the season ranked as the No. 5 team in the country, behind only Duke, Michigan State, Arizona, and Kansas.

Baker’s loss is expected to bear a lot of weight on the Wildcats, as they are already expected to be without freshman Jarred Vanderbilt for some time after he suffered a foot injury in September. However, Vanderbilt will not undergo surgery, as originally expected.

“Jemarl let us know a few weeks ago that something wasn’t feeling right with his knee,” said Kentucky head coach John Calipari. “He had surgery before he got here and it didn’t heal quite like we had hoped it would. The good news is, with this surgery we’re going to get this thing right and get Jemarl back during league play.”

“We were hopeful he would provide us some immediate shooting, but now it’s like getting a midyear guy that can help provide us some depth as we get into the heart of our season. Our main focus at this point is getting him healthy for the rest of his career.”

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