King, Matthews, Cobb Back on Practice Field; Locke Sits Out

Oct. 27, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior tailback Derrick Locke, who hoped to return from a shoulder injury and play this weekend against Mississippi State, did not participate in the University of Kentucky football practice Wednesday because of fatigue in his arm, Coach Joker Phillips said.

“Derrick Locke didn’t go today,” Phillips said. “He had a little fatigue in his arm and we will have to see (how he feels) tomorrow. I am not for sure if he can play at this time.”

Phillips said that he has some worry that Locke’s injury could be more of a long-term injury than previously expected. The first-year head coach said that the injury is not simply a “stinger” as first suspected, but could be more.

“It is not just a stinger,” Phillips said. “He hasn’t had any feeling back in three weeks so it is a little bit more than a stinger. I don’t have the knowledge to know all the details of it, but it is more than a stinger … After three weeks you have to be a little bit concerned (that it could be a long-term injury) but our medical people don’t have as much concern as myself and Derrick do. We have to trust in those guys.”

Although the explosive Locke was not on the practice field Wednesday, several other keys pieces to the Kentucky offense were back on the field, including the team’s leading receiver in junior Randall Cobb. Senior wide receiver Chris Matthews, who has 37 catches for 565 yards and seven touchdowns this season and sophomore wide receiver La’Rod King, who has 337 yards receiving and five touchdowns on 27 catches, also returned to the practice field.

“We did get La’Rod (King) back, Chris (Matthews) back, Randall (Cobb) back and we looked a lot better on offense with those three guys back on the field,” Phillips said.

Kentucky practiced for about two hours Wednesday clad in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts. The Wildcats will return to the practice field for the final time Thursday morning.  The Wildcats take on the top-25 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.