KU basketball super-senior Cam Martin could be nearing return, Bill Self says

Gary Bedore, KC Star

Kansas super-senior forward Cam Martin, who has yet to play in a game this season after separating his shoulder at practice on Oct. 25, should be back on the court “within the next week to 10 days,” coach Bill Self said Tuesday on Self’s weekly Hawk Talk radio show.

The 6-foot-9, 230-pound Martin redshirted at Kansas during the 2021-22 season after transferring to KU from Missouri Southern State University.

“(He could) possibly play against Missouri (on Dec. 10 in Columbia),” Self said. “That would be a goal. Indiana would probably be more a definite if he does not have a setback,” Self added.

The Jayhawks will entertain Indiana on Dec. 17 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Shortly after getting hurt, Martin spoke to media about a possible return against Oklahoma State on Dec. 31.

“He (doctor) said it’s one of those situations you can’t put a timetable (on it). Everybody reacts differently; it could be three to four weeks, could be six to eight. I hope my body reacts to it well and hopefully am ready to go soon,” Martin said at the KU players’ Ladies Night Out NIL event on Oct. 26.

Martin at that time said he was hurt when he fell on his shoulder after trying to block a shot by freshman forward Ernest Udeh with both hands during some 1-on-1 time.

The injury did not require surgery.

“I fell over Ernest. I tried catching myself. My shoulder, … I thought I dislocated it. It ended up being separated. I landed on the shoulder. (There was) a lot of pain,” Martin said.

Bobby Pettiford injury update

Self said there is “an outside shot” KU sophomore backup point guard Bobby Pettiford, who suffered a strained hamstring early in KU’s loss to Tennessee on Friday in the Bahamas, could play against Missouri.

“It’s probably more a two-week type injury in addition to the week he already sat out,” Self said of Pettiford, the hero of KU’s 69-68 win over Wisconsin in Bahamas. He banked in a short shot, beating the final buzzer after Jalen Wilson tipped the ball to him following a deep miss by Zach Clemence with KU down one.

Kevin McCullar injury update

Senior combo guard Kevin McCullar, who like Pettiford was hurt in the Tennessee game (groin strain) and also missed Monday’s home win over Texas Southern, is a “real longshot” for Thursday’s game against Seton Hall (8 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse), Self said.

“Hopefully we’ll have him back for Missouri as well,” Self said.

Cuffe injury update

Self said redshirt freshman guard Kyle Cuffe (knee injury) is “out probably until the end of January and even him coming back then may not be full speed. We may get him back long before he’s 100%.”

In part because of the injuries, “Thursday is going to be a hard game,” Self said. “We’re nicked up. We’ve got to play a little bit better defense than we’ve been playing. It should be a great atmosphere against a good team.”

Seton Hall, led by first-year coach Shaheen Holloway, is 4-3. The Pirates last week defeated Memphis 70-69 in the first round of the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Florida, but then lost to Oklahoma 77-64 in the semifinals and lost to Siena in the consolation round 60-55.

Bill Self on Leipold, football

Self was asked on Hawk talk if there’s another sport he could see himself coaching.

“Football would be what I’d want to coach. I don’t know if I’d be any good at it, certainly not as good as the guy we just locked up for seven more years. We’re excited about that as well,” Self said.

Self was referring to Tuesday’s news that second-year KU football coach Lance Leipold has signed a contract that would keep him at KU through the 2029 season.

On Sunday KU will learn what bowl game it’ll be in and what team will be the opponent this postseason.

“I know what I’m hoping for. I want to play Missouri,” Self said. “I’m hoping we play Missouri in whatever bowl it is. I think that would be great. I think our fans would roll out for that one. I think theirs (Tigers) would too. I think that would be exciting. Since we are going to play Missouri (in current six-year series in basketball and upcoming series in football) now, let’s go ahead and play them. That’s how I look at that.”