The Tennessee basketball team kicked off the 2021-2022 season on Tuesday, as they met with the media. In news coming out of the Rick Barnes press conference, John Fulkerson will miss the exhibition game against Lenoir-Rhyne.
“We have a few injury updates we need to talk about,” Barnes said. “John Fulkerson is going to miss the exhibition game. He broke his thumb a couple of weeks ago and is in a cast. We fully expect him to be ready for the opener, but he won’t play Saturday.”
So, the Vols will be missing a leader on the court, but it could’ve been a lot worse, so you’ll take this type of timeframe. Fulkerson was named to the preseason first-team All-SEC team on Tuesday, voted on by the coaches.
In talking with Fulkerson today, he seemed in great spirits and looks forward to getting back on the court with his teammates in the season opener. He was working through individual drills while we were present today.
In other news, Barnes mentioned that freshman forward Jonas Aidoo has unfortunately missed multiple weeks, due to an illness. He is not back with the team yet.
“Jonas was making strides and going through the typical adjustments that most freshmen go through, understanding the wear and tear that it takes daily. It’s different for every freshman that comes in, but Jonas was really making strides before he got hit with illness. He hasn’t been with us for three weeks. He will have to work his way back.”
“All things happen for a reason, so maybe it will be a blessing in disguise as we go forward,” Barnes added. “We are expecting him to come back eager and excited to get back in it.”
That wasn’t the only injury news, as freshman guard Kennedy Chandler missed a few days recently after Barnes said “He had some problems with his teeth being knocked back a little bit, but he will be back in practice today for the first time.”
The Vols will play Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, on SEC Network+.