Florida loses Will Yeguete to knee injury
by David Jones, USA TODAY Sports
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Second-ranked Florida will have more to deal with than bouncing back from its out 80-69 loss Tuesday at Arkansas.
Florida coach Billy Donovan announced Thursday that forward Will Yeguete, the Gators’ defensive star and rebounder off the bench, will miss at least the rest of the regular season with bone chips in his right knee that will require arthroscopic surgery. He’ll have the surgery in the next few days.
The Gators (18-3, 8-1 Southeastern Conference) had a 10-game winning streak end against the Hogs. Florida hosts Mississippi State (7-14, 2-7) on Saturday before Kentucky visits Tuesday.
Yeguete was struggling with tendinitis when the bone chips were discovered. He’s tried to play with it but the pain became too great against Arkansas, playing just one minute. Yeguete, averaging 6.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, had already seen his minutes fall because of the tendinitis.
Freshmen Michael Frazier (5.8 points a game), who has been outstanding off the bench, and little used Devon Walker (0.9 average in 17 games) will try to take up some of the minutes.
Donovan said it was a “best-case scenario” for Yeguete, a junior, to return for postseason play. He also missed the latter part of the 2011-12 season with a broken bone in his foot.
“We’ll probably re-evaluate it (before the SEC tournament),” Donovan said. “He’s had some significant swelling over the last several weeks and he’s got some floating chips and cartilage in there, which we knew beforehand that was there. But it’s not anything that’s putting him necessarily in jeopardy playing. It was more how could he play with the chips floating around? And a lot of it was based on pain, and he wasn’t in a lot of pain.
“But I think because those chips were floating around, they’ve probably gotten into different parts of his knee that have just put him in a situation where I think that the treatment going forward is not what … [For more on Florida loses key bench player Will Yeguete to knee injury, click here.]