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Florida Gators' Patric Young continues to deal with ankle injury

GAINESVILLE — Florida C Patric Young had started 17 games this season until Saturday at South Carolina, when he came off the bench because of tendinitis symptoms in his ankle, a growing concern.

Coach Billy Donovan said Monday that Young has been hampered by the injury for at least two weeks, and Saturday his limited mobility prompted the lineup change. The severity of the injury and how much longer Young will have to deal with it are unknown. A precautionary X-ray or MRI exam is possible, Donovan said.

"I don't want to say that it's gotten progressively worse, that's not necessarily true," Donovan said. "But I just think in practice he's been laboring. … But I don't think it's anything severe or significant or anything that cannot be cleared up."

Young is averaging 11.4 points and 6.9 rebounds and is the Gators' lone big man, although Will Yeguete has provided quality minutes in a forward/center role. Against South Carolina, Young had four points and four rebounds in 13 minutes.

Donovan said his biggest concern is Young's conditioning because he can't practice at full strength.

The Gators moved up to No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Florida has the week off and will host LSU at 6 p.m. Saturday.

MAKING THE TRANSITION: Now that he has hired former Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease to be Florida's OC, Will Muschamp said he wants the transition to be as smooth as possible. After all, this will be Florida's third offensive coordinator in three seasons, and Muschamp said a complete change in philosophy and terminology wouldn't be fair to the players.

"That's what we wanted to limit as much as possible," Muschamp said. "It's a limit in the terms of coming in and calling a formation something different and that we're not used to. We want to let him learn what we call the formation.

"Will there be some changes? Certainly. It's not all going to be the same. There will be changes defensively, too. I plan on our staff being intact and our players, too. There are always tweaks and changes to what you do to fit your personnel. There certainly will be when you welcome someone new."

MOULTRIE ON NATIONAL TEAM: Senior Michelle Moultrie is among 12 players named to the 2012 USA Softball Women's National Team. Moultrie, a 2011 All-American, is the lone returning senior on a team that finished national runner-up last season. The co-most outstanding player of the 2011 Women's College World Series, Moultrie batted .443 and broke the Florida single-season hits mark with 101, and had a school-record 31-of-34 stolen bases. Florida opens the 2012 season at the USF-Fairfield Inn &Suites Tampa North Tournament, Feb. 10-12.

AZZANNI TO WISCONSIN: Former wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni has been hired for the same position at Wisconsin, the Badgers announced Monday. Azzani joined Florida's staff in December 2009 but was not retained after former coach Urban Meyer resigned at the end of the 2010 season. He spent last season at Western Kentucky.

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

Florida Gators' Patric Young continues to deal with ankle injury 01/16/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 16, 2012 6:46pm]
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