Gators banged up heading into practice

While teams across the country have already begun practice for the 2013-14 season, Florida head coach Billy Donovan chose to wait. The Gators are still waiting on guard Eli Carter (leg) and forward Will Yeguete (knee) to get healthy and neither will be on the court when Florida opens practice on Friday. The hope is that both will be ready when Florida opens the regular season on November 8.

There's uncertainty all over the court for Florida. The Gators lost their top three scorers from last year -- Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario -- and will need to find offense from players on this year's team.

There are only two returning starters in point guard Scottie Wilbekin and center Patric Young, but Wilbekin could be facing a suspension when the regular season begins. He will be on the court for the first practice on Friday.

Eli Carter recently received a waiver from the NCAA to be immediately eligible after transferring from Rutgers, but he won't be on the court on Friday, either. Carter broke his leg at Rutgers in February and still hasn't been cleared to practice.

Will Yeguete underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in February but returned to the court during the regular season. Soon after the Gators lost in the NCAA Tournament, Yeguete was back under the knife and still hasn't fully recovered from that surgery.

The Gators need Yeguete healthy

The senior forward said on Wednesday that he expects to be ready for the season opener on November 8, but the only timetable Billy Donovan was able to provide is that he won't be ready when the Gators open practice on Friday.

"Because of Scottie's situation, because of Eli Carter, because of Will Yeguete, certainly our team looks a little bit different," Donovan said.

There was a report in the offseason that three other Florida players could be facing a suspension when the regular season begins. Donovan was asked about that on Wednesday and only said that everyone but Carter and Yeguete will practice.

"Everybody but Will Yeguete and Eli Carter is ready to practice going forward and on our team," Donovan said.

Donovan also expects the Gators to add five-star freshman forward Chris Walker to the roster in December or January.

"He's working really, really hard," Donovan said. "I'm optimistic that he'll be back here. You have a guy that could potentially be here in December. If he is here, what kind of condition is he in? How quickly can he absorb what's going on?

"Do you cut down what you're doing if you have to just to be on floor playing just to make it a little bit more simple for him – we'll probably have to do that with him being a freshman. If that opportunity presents itself for us, we'll figure out a way to try to utilize him as best we can."

Walker will give the Gators a great athlete

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