Well, this is one you don’t hear about every day when it comes to the game of football — a case of tennis eye costing a team a significant contributor.
Kentucky wide receiver Jeff Badet will miss at least the first two games of the 2014 season due to an eye injury he incurred recently. And, just how was the injury incurred? By, as previously reported here, an errant tennis ball.
Yep, the receiver took a tennis ball to the eye, with the aftereffects severe enough that it’ll cost him, at bare minimum, two games to start the season.
“We really believe catching tennis balls are great for eye-hand coordination,” said UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown. “It’s something (coach Hal) Mumme brought here when I was playing. Others have used it and I’ve used it and never had an issue. I’ve never heard of it being an issue for anybody else, either.”
Badet “has not practiced since I want to say the fourth or fifth day in camp,” Brown said, with the injury occurring two Tuesdays ago. The Wildcats’ first two games are against UT-Martin and Ohio University, at Commonwealth Stadium, so Badet’s availability isn’t critical.
Week 3, however, Kentucky travels to The Swamp to take on Florida. Head coach Mark Stoops intimated that Badet may not be available then, either.
“From what I understand, these injuries take some time, and we have to be very careful with that, that that type of injury,” Stoops said.
As a true freshman last season, Badet caught 22 passes for 285 yards. During spring practice this year, Badet suffered a broken fibula, which had limited him during summer camp prior to the eye injury.