Florida could get F Will Yegeute back sooner than expected
Florida junior F Will Yeguete's return to the Gator basketball team might come sooner than doctors had anticipated, Florida coach Billy Donovan said today.
Yeguete was forced to sit a few minutes into the Feb. 5 Arkansas game, and eventually underwent surgery later that week to repair loose bone chips in his right knee.
When Yeguete went out, Donovan said doctors expected he would miss 4-6 weeks, and that his earliest return might be the postseason. But it appears he's progressing much faster than anticipated.
"I think, you know, potentially, if the doctors clear him, there's probably an outside chance he can maybe play in the last three games of the year (regular season),'' Donovan said. "There's a possibility of that. I'm not saying it's a guarantee. That will depend on how he responds. He's moving quicker than I think the doctors thought. It's going to be totally up to them. It could mean the last three regular season games. It could mean the SEC Tournament. There's a chance, an outside chance, that he could be back as early as the Vanderbilt game (March 6)."
Donovan said although Yeguete is ahead of schedule in his rehab, there are concerns about allowing him to return too soon.
"Right now, Yeguete is doing some light running, which is a good sign,'' Donovan said. "The biggest thing is going to be, right now for him, is going to be once he starts getting back into the flow of running, of exercising, of non-contact stuff, what happens to his knee in terms of, 'Does it continue to swell again?' That's what they'll have to take a look at. But he's way on target and way ahead of schedule right now in terms of where he should be. He's way ahead of that. But now we're getting through a difficult part right now for him, where we're going to see how his knee is in terms of swelling once he starts running and doing those things."
Donovan has refused to play the what-if game in Yeguete's absence: as in what if Yeguete had been able to play in Wednesday night's loss to Missouri, would the Gators have been outrebounded 40-28 and unable to establish an inside presence?
"I never, ever try to talk about those things or to focus on those things, because you always go into games with the hand that you're dealt,'' he said.