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UF loses top scorer for month

Florida junior guard Matt Walsh will be out four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain and torn ligaments in his left ankle.

Walsh, the Gators' leading scorer with 16 points per game, was injured in practice last week and had been expected to miss about two weeks. But an MRI exam Tuesday night revealed a much more severe injury than originally diagnosed.

"Obviously I'm disappointed, I want to play as much as anybody," Walsh said Wednesday afternoon. "I want to be out there helping my team. I'm down, but I'm realistic."

With Walsh out and junior center/forward Adrian Moss hampered by a back injury, the Gators will rely on senior David Lee, junior Anthony Roberson, five freshmen and two sophomores. The Gators open the SEC season Saturday against Arkansas, but Florida coach Billy Donovan said he won't rush Walsh's return.

"This is something that needs a lot of rest and a lot of time," Donovan said. "Matt's a competitive kid, but we will not allow him to play until he can show a level that he can move and play with some of the pain he's feeling in his ankle. And right now he's not even close to being able to do that."

_ ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times staff writer