Gators continue monitoring injuries

Florida will make the trek to Madison to take on Wisconsin Tuesday night, but they'll make the trip with a short roster. The Gators will have eight scholarship players available to face the Badgers, but even among those, there are multiple injuries. Eli Carter, Michael Frazier and Will Yeguete are all playing through injuries early this season.

It was noticeable with Eli Carter and Will Yeguete in Friday's season-opening win over North Florida. Carter still runs with a limp while continuing his recovery from a broken leg in his time at Rutgers last season. Yeguete doesn't have the normal strength in his knee after microfracture surgery in the offseason.

Neither player is risking further injury by playing, but the concern is the time it will take before both are back to normal. Florida head coach Billy Donovan believes Yeguete will be fully healthy before Carter, who has hit a standstill in his recovery.

Carter had surgery to fix the broken leg before he decided to transfer from Rutgers. When problems hit the program and head coach Mike Rice resigned, Donovan thinks the Rutgers training staff might not have stayed on top of Carter's rehab program like they would if the turmoil wasn't happening.

Carter went 1-6 against UNF on Friday, hitting one three-pointer for his only points of the night.

"Eli is the one guy that we've probably gotten into a little of a standstill, physically," Donovan said. "He's made some pretty good growth, and he's kind of leveled off right now. The hardest part for him, which I'm noticing is a major problem and puts us in harm's way from a defensive standpoint, is he has a very, very difficult time starting and stopping. He's stopped and then he's got to explode. It takes him a while to get going.

"We're hopeful that he can somehow continue to work through it and make good, positive strides and get better."

There's not as much uncertainty around Yeguete. Donovan knows he'll get the strength back in his knee, he just isn't sure when it will happen. The strength in the knee is the only issue that concerns the staff, but even then, the strength staff has assured Donovan that there is no risk of further injury by playing.

Yeguete had two points and five rebounds in 22 minutes on Friday, but he didn't show the explosiveness off the floor that has made him an effective rebounder in his career.

"It's going to take him a little bit of time to get it back," Donovan said. "We're monitoring him in practice. He's doing better. He's getting better. He's making progress."

There's still concern about sophomore guard Michael Frazier. Despite playing 24 minutes and scoring 19 points on Friday, he continues to regain energy every day after his battle with mono.

The energy should come back more every day, but there's still a risk that Frazier could relapse and get mono again. The training staff is watching him close in practice and limiting his time on the floor while the Gators prepare to travel to Wisconsin.

"He's been somewhat limited in practice, just by the trainer," Donovan said. "There is a little bit of a concern about him relapsing. They're being careful. Yesterday he took like half the reps in practice. He's fully cleared to play and he's healthy right now, but they worry about too much practice, too much sweating, too much running could end up putting him into a situation where we set him back."

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