Tigers Could Be Without Davis

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Cliff Ellis and the Auburn Tigers received some potentially bad injury news Thursday.

Auburn, Ala.--Heading into SEC play at 4 p.m. Saturday against the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Tigers need to be at full strength to take on the 40 minutes of hell employed by Coach Nolan Richardson's squad.

That apparently won't be the case as sophomore shot-blocker Kyle Davis will likely miss the game because of an injury and could be out as many as four weeks if things don't go as hoped for the next 48 hours.

Suffering from what the doctors thought was just a hyper-extended right elbow, Davis traveled to Birmingham on Thursday for an extensive examination. What that exam showed was bone chips on the elbow and that could lead to potential problems. Doctors James Andrews and Larry Lemak told Davis and Ellis they want to wait 48 hours to see if any swelling disappears. At that time they will make a decision on whether or not Davis would require surgery. If that happens he could miss as much as four weeks before being able to come back to the team. That would not be a good scenario for a team that is already painfully thin on the interior and getting ready for the brutally tough SEC.

"Our ball club took a shot today in Kyle Davis apparently may be out for this game and may be out up to four weeks," Ellis noted. "We'll know more about his status Friday...from the center standpoint that handicaps us in that position. At the same point and time we're going to talk about it now and talk about it when he goes through it, but we're going to put it to rest because it's something where we have to move on. We're going to have to depend on our team and I feel confident that they will rally to the occasion. Certainly this could be another blow that we've had to go through the last two years."

If Davis is unable to go the burden would fall to senior Mack McGadney, who himself is still hobbling following knee surgery last season. Averaging just 5.1 points and two rebounds per game in limited playing time, McGadney has the ability to provide an offensive punch in Davis' absence but it will be on defense where the Tigers will miss the big sophomore. The catalyst for an Auburn defense that leads the SEC in three categories, Davis is averaging 3.5 blocks per game in just 21.2 minutes of action. Losing that kind of force inside will be a burden to an Auburn team that needs all the weapons it can muster heading into this weekend's showdown with the Hogs.

Helping to pick up the slack for Davis will be freshman Marco Killingsworth and junior walk-on Donny Calton. Killingsworth has the ability to come through with both points and rebounds in the paint and his wide body could be something that gives opponents fits on the interior. Calton has been strictly a mop-up player since he walked onto the Auburn team three seasons ago. Called on for duty last year in the SEC Tournament, he responded with solid play against the Tennessee Volunteers. Sophomore Abdou Diame could also work his way back into the mix, but still appears to have a way to go to win back the trust of both the coaching staff and his teammates.

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