By GUY RAMSEY
Mark Stoops made it official on Thursday: Drew Barker will miss the remainder of the 2016 season.
Later this month, the sophomore quarterback will undergo surgery on a back injury that has sidelined him since Sept. 16.
“We’ve exhausted all treatment that doesn’t involved surgery and it has not improved to the level our doctors are comfortable with,” Stoops said. “So we are scheduled for surgery the week of Thanksgiving. So he will be done for the year.”
Barker left after the first series of UK’s game against New Mexico State, giving way to junior-college transfer Stephen Johnson II after Barker began his third season in Lexington as the starter. Barker completed 18-of-36 passes for 334 yards, four touchdowns and give interceptions in three games.
The news has little immediate impact on this year’s Kentucky team, as Johnson has settled in at quarterback, but Barker is expected to be back in time for next season and potentially even spring practice.
“If everything goes right he should be back for spring, the latter part of spring, in some capacity,” Stoops said. “I don’t know how much, but (trainer) Jim (Madaleno) said he thought he could be back and throwing the ball in 7-on-7 and things like that.”