Forward Dorian Finney-Smith has been reinstated to the team and will play when Florida hosts Tennessee (14-13, 6,9 SEC) on Saturday at 6 p.m. (TV: ESPN2).
The junior has been suspended for a violation of team rules. The Gators went 1-2 without him, with the only win coming in a 50-47 victory over Vanderbilt. Florida suffered a 70-63 loss at LSU and a 64-52 loss at Missouri with Finney-Smith out of the lineup.
“He served his penalty and did all the things we asked him to do and expected him to do,” Donovan said. “That’s over and done with now. For him, the fair thing to do is move forward and let him help us as much as we can."
Finney-Smith is second on the team with 12.9 points per game and leads the Gators (13-15, 6-9 SEC) with 5.8 rebounds.
Over the last three games, Florida has been forced to play without Finney-Smith and Michael Frazier, who suffered a high ankle sprain against Kentucky. Frazier, who leads the team with 13.2 points per game, would like to return on Saturday, but he continues to feel pain in the ankle when stopping and starting.
“He tried a little but couldn’t do it. He wanted to give it a go. He’s shooting the ball and running OK. He tried to do a little bit yesterday but the trainer took him off the floor.”
Adding to the injury issues, guard Eli Carter is having another bout with strep throat. The junior dealt with it earlier this season and was out for 10 days while dropping 13 pounds.
Carter is third on the team with 8.6 points per game and has started the last 10 games for the Gators.
“I don’t know where Eli’s going to be tomorrow,” Donovan said. “They’ve got him on medication, but he’s still ill. You always worry about where energy is and where his conditioning is at. He didn’t respond well to it last time.”