Injuries shake up No. 10 Florida

When Florida hit the court for practice on Thursday and Friday this week, it looked a lot like the early part of the season with multiple contributors held out. This week, it was three starters. Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin and Patric Young missed practice both days and continue to be slowed by different injuries.

The worst news for Florida is that Casey Prather, the team's leading scorer with 17 points per game, will be out on Saturday when the Gators travel to Fayetteville to face Arkansas. Prather woke up on Thursday morning with swelling on his knee, but after a precautionary MRI on Thursday night, a structural issue was ruled out. Prather is dealing with a bone bruise that will keep him off the floor Saturday and his return date remains in the air.

Scottie Wilbekin was held out on Thursday but felt like he could get on the court on Friday. However, the trainer decided to hold him out to be safe. He remains questionable for Saturday after spraining his right ankle in Florida's SEC opener against South Carolina and isn't expected to start at Arkansas, forcing freshman Kasey Hill to serve as the team's starting point guard for the fifth game this season.

Patric Young didn't practice either day because of knee tendinitis. The senior center wears large ice packs on both knees during postgame interviews this season, and the pain forced him to miss two days of practice. The same thing happened before Florida faced Fresno State on December 21 and Young came off the bench during that game. The same could happen if he does play on Saturday.

Before the team's 3 p.m. flight left Gainesville on Friday, Young said he would be surprised if he didn't play against Arkansas.

"I expect to be full-go," Young said. "When the buzzer sounds, I think I'll be ready to go and be able to get myself ready with full warm-up and stretch and whatever I have to do (Friday night) to get myself prepared to go."

There's also no new information about freshman forward Chris Walker. The 6-10 McDonald's All-American continues to wait for clearance from the NCAA before he can play in a game.

Sophomore guard Michael Frazier has also dealt with a calf issue this week but is expected to start and play through it.

The Gators planned to practice on Friday night at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville before deciding on what lineup to start the game with on Saturday. With Prather and Wilbekin not expected to be in it, Donovan said they've worked in practice with a starting five of Kasey Hill, DeVon Walker, Jacob Kurtz, Dorian Finney-Smith and Will Yeguete. It's possible that they open the game with that lineup on Saturday.


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