WALTHAM, Mass. — Like most draft-eligible players, Julius Randle was intent on putting his best foot forward in his workout with the Celtics on Friday.
And that - his right foot specifically - has been a hot topic of discussion the past 24 hours since reports surfaced that he may need surgery on it following the June 26 NBA draft.
"Everything with Julius is fine," his mother Carolyn Kyles, told the Courier-Journal. "There is no surgery scheduled whatsoever. Nothing. They don't have a clue. They haven't spoken to us. They haven't spoken to Julius' doctor. I know for a fact, because he is my son, there is no surgery scheduled, period, now or after."
On Friday, Randle reiterated that there is no surgery scheduled for his foot, and he doesn't anticipate that changing.
"My foot's fine," Randle said on Friday. "Everybody has their opinion on what they should do. I'm pain-free; no pain before, during or after. I'm fine."
Randle said teams knew about his foot at the pre-draft combine in Chicago last month, and none recommended to him at the time that he should have surgery.
He added that he has met with his doctor and spoke with specialists who, according to Randle, "would not do anything with it. I'm fine."
Still, multiple sources contacted by CSNNE.com confirm that there is concern that his injury, while not an issue now, could potentially develop into something more serious down the road.
The concerns stem from surgery Randle had as a senior in high school to repair a fractured bone in his right ankle.
According to a Yahoo Sports! report, a screw was inserted at the time but now has to be removed due to it not healing properly.
But the issue isn't discomfort or pain right now, but rather the potential for it to be a long-term issue going forward if the screw were to break off into smaller pieces which would thus create unnecessary complications.
And the timing of the news - less than two weeks before the draft - could not be worse for Randle, who is projected to be among the first eight players chosen.
"I have no clue," Randle said when asked how he thought the news got out at this point.
The talk about his foot clouds what was an impressive freshman season at Kentucky.
Randle was the headliner for a star-studded Wildcats class that overcame a series of bumps to advance all the way to the national title game, where they lost to UConn, 60-54.
Rated as the nation's top power forward coming out of high school, Randle averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while appearing in all 40 games for the national runners-up.