Florida Gators to be without Will Yeguete at least 4-6 weeks
Florida will have to make its run through the remainder of the regular season without forward and defensive specialist Will Yeguete.
The junior from France will undergo arthroscopic surgery later this week to repair damage to his right knee. He is expected to miss at least the remainder of the regular season.
“He’s going to need surgery,'' Florida coach Billy Donovan said today. "He’s going to be out probably, best case scenario would be probably out for the remainder of at least the regular season, and we’ll probably reevaluate it then. He’s had some significant swelling over the last several weeks and he’s got some floating chips and cartilage in there, which we knew beforehand that was there, but it’s not anything that’s putting him necessarily in jeopardy playing. It was more how could he play with the chips floating around? And a lot of it was based on pain, and he wasn’t in a lot of pain. But I think because those chips were floating around, they’ve probably gotten into different parts of his knee that have just put him in a situation where I think that the treatment going forward is not what we need to do. So he’s got to have some orthoscopic surgery to have it cleaned out. He’ll probably do that here at the end of the week and my guess right now would be anywhere from four to six weeks before he would be able to get back."
Yeguete has played in all 21 games this season, but has been hampered by tendonitis for weeks. He played just one minute in the game at Arkansas this past Tuesday, before having to sit out the reamainder of the game because of the injury.
The 6-foot-7 Yeguete averages 6.0points, and is the team's second leading rebounder (6.3 per game). He is known as the player most willing to do what teammate Mike Rosario called "the dirty work" for the team. His defensive presence has been key for the Gators this season.
This is the second straight season an injury has derailed Yeguete's season. In 2012, he led the team in rebounding when he broke his foot in a home win against Auburn on Feb. 21. Florida went on to lose four of their next five games, but eventually went on a run that ended with a loss to Louisville in the NCAA West Region final.
"I feel bad for Will,'' Donovan said. "I think as a coach you’re always going to deal with the players that are able to play. I feel more disappointed for him because I think he’s worked hard, he’s a good kid. He’s obviously made a huge impact on our team. He’s a guy that does thing for our team that not a lot of guys do. He’s a great defender, he’s a great rebounder, he gives you a lot of flexibility on the defensive end of the floor, different things you can do pressing, to half-court defense, to switching, to having him guard certain players. So that’s going to be definitely a loss. But that’s just part of competing, part of playing, guys are going to get hurt. That happens. But I feel more, not so much for our team, but I feel bad for him after going through his foot injury last year."