Sean Miller feared the worst when Kadeem Allen’s right pinky finger got caught in Parker Jackson-Cartwright’s jersey during Tuesday’s practice.
“I thought he was done for the season,” Miller said.
“His bone popped out of his finger. It’s enough to make you faint.”
Thankfully for the Arizona Wildcats, Allen’s prognosis is far better than Miller originally thought.
Allen, who missed Thursday’s game at Washington State, suffered a dislocation and will be sidelined for five to eight days, meaning Saturday’s game against the Washington Huskies is “on the cusp” of the timetable for his return.
“I think he had seven stitches, a lot of blood, and I think he scared everyone including himself,” Miller said. “As long as he’s safe in terms of infection, every day that goes by is a big, big day.”
Miller said Allen has full range of motion in his pinky, and Allen was fortunate to not have a break in the finger.
“That’s the remarkable part,” Miller said. “I think [athletic trainer] Justin [Kokoskie] said that there’s usually a break. It’s not a break at all. It’s a dislocation. Dislocations don’t usually pop out, so it made it a little bit worse, but it popped back in. Everything is stable.”
Whether or not Allen suits up against Washington on Saturday, Miller said he expects Allen to be “full-go” when the Wildcats host the USC and UCLA next week.
“It’s just a matter of Saturday,” Miller said of Allen’s status.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright started in Allen’s stead on Thursday, posting a career-high 20 points in his first start since Nov. 30.
“He played great,” Miller said. “You look a kid in the eye and say ‘you’re going to start, we need you to step up’ and he responds with a career-high, that’s a big reason we won the game.”
Jackson-Cartwright shot 4-of-5 from the 3-point line against WSU, and he has made 7 of his last 13 attempts from that range.
“He’s really been shooting well,” Miller said. “I know I’m like a broken record, I watch him shoot everyday. If he’s not our team’s best 3-point shooter, he’s one of them. He got off to a slow start, but it’s great to see him shoot the ball with confidence.”
Jackson-Cartwright’s recent hot streak has allowed him to up his 3-point percentage to 32.5 on the season.
Even though they were already down one starter before Thursday’s game tipped off, the Wildcats quickly lost a second starter.
Center Dusan Ristic exited in the first half with a left ankle sprain, and did not return in the second half.
Miller seemed less concerned with Ristic’s injury than Allen’s injury, but Miller says the “bad part” is this is the first time Ristic has suffered such an injury.
“Sometimes it’s not that bad, but it can affect you more the first time.” Miller said.
Miller says he thinks — and hopes — Ristic will be “OK” for Saturday’s game against Washington.
“We need him,” Miller said.
Should Ristic be unable to play, Chance Comanche would undoubtedly start in his place. Comanche had eight points and five rebounds in 23 minutes against the Cougars on Thursday.
Saturday’s game in Seattle is set to tip off at 6 p.m. MST and it will be televised on ESPN2.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire
Andy Buhler contributed to this report. You can follow him on Twitter at @a_buhla.