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Mitchell guard Jake Driscoll could return to Mustangs' lineup next week

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Tue. January 11, 2011 | Bryan Burns

Good news for Mitchell basketball fans. Junior guard Jake Driscoll, who leads the North Suncoast in scoring at 24.1 points a game, should be able to begin playing again as early as next week, according to boys basketball coach Jared St. Charles.

Driscoll recently was diagnosed with mononucleosis after becoming ill during the winter break. Initially, it was feared Driscoll would miss the rest of the season.

“It definitely is mono but it doesn’t sound like it’s a situation where he’ll have to miss the rest of the season,” St. Charles said. “Apparently, an enlarging of the spleen is the biggest problem with mono, and the doctors don’t think that will be a problem with Jake.”

St. Charles said it was “doubtful” Driscoll would be available for the Mustangs’ games this week against Anclote (tonight), Gulf (Thursday) and Ridgewood (Friday). But the first-year coach was hopeful that Driscoll, who also averages 8.1 rebounds a game, would be cleared to play next week.

“As far as his overall health, he’s got to eat and get some stamina back,” St. Charles said. “That will be something we have to work through once he gets back.”

Driscoll practiced lightly with the Mustangs, shooting around but not participating in full drills, last Wednesday prior to their game against Central. Since acquiring mono, he’s been out of school while recuperating. According to St. Charles, Driscoll's doctors said he is not contagious and there are no worries he could spread the infection to other teammates or opposing players.

“He’s still tired and lacks energy right now,” St. Charles said. “I’m used to playing him for 30 minutes some nights. Obviously when he comes back, that’s not going to happen. We have to get him back to strength. The biggest thing is we have to weather the storm without him in the lineup. Hopefully when we get to the district tournament, he’ll be back to full strength.”

Without Driscoll in the lineup, Mitchell has pushed up its effort on the defensive end to go 2-0 since his absence. The Mustangs held Central to 39 points in a 33-point victory on Jan. 6 and held Land O’Lakes to 32 points, the Gators lowest scoring output of the season, in a win a day later.

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