No. 14 Florida without Yeguete, Rosario at Alabama
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Florida will be short-handed for at least another game, probably longer.
The 14th-ranked Gators will be without forward Will Yeguete and guard Mike Rosario - the team's top two reserves - at Alabama on Tuesday night.
Coach Billy Donovan ruled them out Monday.
Yeguete sustained his second concussion of the season Saturday against Tennessee, and Donovan said the team's third-leading rebounder was dealing with post-concussion symptoms and still has steps to pass before getting clearance to practice. Donovan also said Yeguete likely will miss Saturday's game at Arkansas.
Yeguete is averaging 4.5 points and 6.1 rebounds, and plays an important role in Florida's full-court, trapping press.
Since forward Patric Young is dealing with an ankle injury and forward Cody Larson is coming off a stomach virus, losing Yeguete is a huge blow for a team trying to avoid a three-game losing streak.
"Dire is probably a pretty good word,'' Donovan said about his frontcourt situation. "We're going to have to do some different things both offensively and defensively. There is a tremendous void for us defensively at the basket. ... We're going to have to do things about our energy, our passion, that kind of mentality like collectively getting it done together and not leaving somebody on an island in the low post by themselves.''
Rosario sat out against the Volunteers because of a hip pointer. This will be the fifth game he has missed this season because of injuries.
Rosario is averaging 7.9 points and is fifth on the team with 30 3-pointers.
Without him, the Gators will turn to Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather for more playing time against the Crimson Tide.
Florida (19-6, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) really struggled without Yeguete and Rosario in a 75-70 loss against the Volunteers.
Yeguete was knocked unconscious while trying to make a defensive play Saturday. He slammed into the padding at the base of the backboard and was helped to the locker room. He needed 10 stiches above his right eye, but the bigger concern was the concussion.
Donovan said Yeguete will spend much of the week resting.
"The concussion issues now because of football have been addressed at certainly a very, very heightened level and there's just this protocol that we have to go through regardless of how Will's feeling,'' Donovan said. "He's away from it right now because apparently lighting and a lot of movement and watching TV, that stuff's not good so he needs to rest. But I don't think he's having any symptoms where he's sick or he's just dizzy all the time. I think he feels OK, but he's not passing these tests.''
Donovan said Yeguete is "way off'' on the balance test as well as others.
"He's not really showing any signs that he's close to passing them,'' Donovan said. "This could be a couple of weeks, this could be a week, it could be three weeks. I would say right now, with where his symptoms are at, I feel pretty confident that he'll be out this entire week.''
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