Arizona Wildcats center Kaleb Tarczewski will not play tonight against NAU because of his sprained right ankle, trainer Justin Kokoskie said.

Tarczewski has made enough improvement with the ankle that he is warming up tonight at McKale Center but UA is aiming to have him fully better by the time the Wildcats start Pac-12 play on Jan. 2 against Washington State.

"We want to strengthen the ankle and the surrounding muscles," Kokoskie said.

Tarczewski hurt the ankle when he landed on an opponent's foot in UA's Dec. 14 win at Michigan, but he has also hurt it in high school and last summer, leading UA to be even more cautious with it.

Tarczewski missed UA's Dec. 19 win with Southern because of the injury and will continue to rehab over the Wildcats' three-day Christmas break since he is not returning to his home in New Hampshire.

Sportswriter for the Arizona Daily Star covering Arizona Wildcats basketball