Arizona starting point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright has missed five full games and almost two-and-a-half weeks because of a high ankle sprain.
The first diagnosis offered by coach Sean Miller was that the junior could be out for two months, but Miller revised that forecast — in a good way — Saturday following the Wildcats’ 67-63 victory over Texas A&M in Houston.
“We’re anxious to get him back,” Miller said in his postgame interview.
“He’s moving in the direction of coming back. I’m hoping that if we can have a couple of good weeks here, we can have him back more toward the beginning of the conference season.”
Miller on missing PJC. pic.twitter.com/u9rLtpoWaG
Arizona has only one non-conference game remaining — Tuesday at home vs. New Mexico. The Wildcats will have a holiday break before diving into Pac-12 play with an always-tough trip to the Bay Area, starting with Cal on Dec. 30.
Having Jackson-Cartwright available, even in limited minutes, would be a blessing for a team with only seven available scholarship players while waiting for a resolution on the status of guard Allonzo Trier, who has missed all 12 games because of an unspecified eligibility issue.
Jackson-Cartwright has 37 assists and 11 turnovers in six-plus games, suffering the injury early against Texas Southern. Kadeem Allen has 18 assists and 17 turnovers in four games as the full-time point guard.
When Jackson-Cartwright returns, Allen can mostly return to his role off the ball, where he is more comfortable as a scorer and able to direct more energy toward being a defensive ace.
Miller’s comments after the game about PJC’s status largely matched what play-by-play man Brian Jeffries said before the game. Stay tuned …
On IMG pregame show, Brian Jeffries said PJC has boot off and is "50-50" to play in Pac-12 opener in 2 weeks. #ArizonaWildcats