Following 24 hours of careful observation by the Florida Gators training staff, sophomore guard Kenny Boynton is expected to be able to play when the Gators play BYU Thursday in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
The game will tipoff at 7:57 p.m. on Thursday.
Boynton suffered a sprained ankle with just under five minutes remaining in Saturday's NCAA third round game against UCLA. "Right now, the first 24 hours we felt after the game was going to be really, really important the next morning because a lot of times in those ankle situations, when you're traveling, when it's not elevated or not iced, you worry about swelling being a problem,'' Donovan said today. "That was the major issue, but we were really able to get that under control. We fully expect him to play. He's not going to do anything today in practice. He definitely has some discomfort there, but I don't feel like it's discomfort that's going to prevent him from playing. Now, I'll probably find out a little bit more as we get into Tuesday and Wednesday when he starts actually really, really moving. Talking to the trainer, his biggest concern was if this thing is really swollen on Sunday, it's going to take him a lot longer to come back. They've been able to really minimize the swelling.''
Boynton was a key figure in last year's first round loss to BYU in the NCAA Tournament. He took on the primary role of defending BYU star guard Jimmer Fredette - who scored 23 of his 37 points in regulation. The Gators lost in double overtime.
And while he will play, right now there's no way of knowing if he'll be limited at all, Donovan said.
"Now, the biggest thing is what kind of pain does he have,'' Donovan said. "He's walking and he's not on crutches. He's not in the boot.
He's able to walk freely. He doesn't have a lot of discomfort. Chandler (Parsons) got to a point, too, when he was walking around and felt pretty good (after a severe thigh bruise injury earlier this season), then he got on the floor and tried to start cutting and he couldn't do it. I'm still a little bit cautious of where he's at because I haven't seen him sprint, cut, change direction, do those kind of things. Kenny's had some ankle problems during his career. He's sprained an ankle quite a bit. He's had to deal with it at different times during his career. I also think there's a mental hurdle for him that he's going to have to get over, that he does feel good and he's not playing in pain.
Hopefully, we can get him to that point. But as it relates to what we had to do the first 24 hours, we thought that went very, very well."