Florida loses forward Prather for up to 2 weeks
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida basketball team isn’t getting any healthier. In fact, the Gators are getting even more banged up.
Forward Casey Prather is the latest player to join the injured list. The 6-foot-6 junior is out 10 to 14 days after suffering a high left ankle sprain in Florida’s 74-52 over LSU on Saturday. He is one of five players dealing with injuries for the 10th-ranked Gators (12-2, 2-0 SEC), who play at Texas AM (12-3, 2-0) on Thursday.
“Thank God it’s not a severe high ankle sprain where you’re out for a month to six weeks,” coach Billy Donovan said Monday. “It’s something hopefully he can get back [soon]. The most bizarre thing is usually when you see a guy roll over on an ankle sprain, you usually see a guy really twist his ankle. The bizarre part is he kind of just landed on his foot. It wasn’t anything that looked on film to be too bad, but, you know, initially what I was told at halftime is that they thought he had broken something and obviously the X-rays came back negative. We’ll miss him because he’s a versatile player and he’s played well for us so far.”
The ankle sprain is the latest injury for Prather this season. He suffered two concussions, one in October and one in November, during practices, and suffered a cut on his lip that required five stitches in his season debut against Central Florida on Nov. 23.
The 6-10 Murphy, who is averaging 12.0 points and 4.5 rebounds and leads the team in 3-point shooting (43.6 percent), suffered a fractured rib on his right side in the Gators’ victory over Yale on Jan. 6. The 6-3 Rosario, who is UF’s second-leading scorer (12.3 PPG), sprained his left ankle against Georgia on Jan. 9. Murphy played against Georgia and LSU but Rosario did not play against the Tigers. However, Donovan said Rosario has been cleared to play against Texas AM.
Junior forward Will Yeguete, who is averaging 6.5 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds, is also dealing with tendinitis in his right knee. Donovan said Yeguete will undergo X-rays later Monday, but added that Yeguete will play against the Aggies. Yeguete hasn’t missed a game all season.
Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who is second in the SEC with 4.7 assists per game, has played the past month with a broken ring finger on his right hand.
Despite the injuries, the Gators lead the SEC in scoring defense, scoring margin, and field goal defense.
“It just shows how invested we are in winning this year, how bad guys really want it,” junior center Patric Young said. “It just energizes our team. Guys are ready to step up for the opportunity, and there will be no drop-off if somebody goes down with an injury. Other guys will be ready to pick up that slack.”
Michael DiRocco | email