Linebackers Walker, Laster out for season

Kobie Walker heard from Mark Stoops during UK's opening game. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kobie Walker heard from Mark Stoops during UK’s opening game. (Vicky Graff Photo)


Kentucky’s improving defense will be without two backup linebackers for the rest of the season starting with Saturday night’s game against Mississippi State.

Coach Mark Stoops confirmed Thursday that Di’Niro Laster and Kobie Walker both need season-ending surgery. Laster has a knee injury while Walker has a shoulder issue.

Laster, a transfer from Minnesota, had 14 tackles in five games. He had a quarterback sack. He was also a regular on special teams. Walker has 10 tackles in three games but has missed time with injuries and suspension.

Here’s what Stoops had to say about the two injured players earlier this season:

— Kobie Walker: “Kobie is very versatile. He makes good plays because he’s very active. He’s a guy that you need with some of the things we’re doing, he makes loose plays. Where he’s supposed to be outside and if they’re overreaching, then he comes under and makes a play. He’s active when he pressures and he can cover. He’s definitely going to be an important piece of the package.”

— De’Niro Laster: “We’re moving him around. We’re a little thin at both (linebacker) spots as we touched on.”

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