Casey Prather (bone bruise in right knee) will be available for No. 7 Florida’s road matchup with Auburn on Saturday at 4 p.m., but Billy Donovan is doubtful the senior forward will log significant minutes against the Tigers.
“I really don’t have a real good feel yet of actually how much we could get out of him, because he hasn’t done any contact,” Donovan said before Friday’s practice. “How much he’ll play is really, really hard to say.”
Prather was cleared for contact drills in Friday’s practice, Donovan said. The 6-foot-6 senior participated in non-contact work Thursday but sat out the full-scrimmage sessions of practice.
“Calling it like it is, he looked OK,” Donovan said of Prather’s Thursday practice. “He didn’t look great to me. We’ll see how he looks here today.”
Donovan said an MRI showed that Prather’s knee is fine structurally. Prather has missed UF’s past two games since waking up with swelling in his right knee the morning of Jan. 9.
“It takes a little bit of time, because the bruise is pretty significant,” Donovan said. “All that’s calmed down, the swelling has calmed down.
“In terms of the healing, the swelling, all that stuff, he’s moving in the right direction.”
After a junior season that saw Prather suffered multiple injuries, including two concussions in a span of nine days and a high ankle sprain, he has bounced back with the most successful campaign of his Florida career. In 14 contests this year, Prather has averaged a team- and career-best 17 points on 62.4 shooting, along with 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
Senior center Patric Young feels bad for Prather because the forward has had to deal with this roadblock during his breakout year.
“It’s really frustrating for him,” Young said. “Now that he’s finally had the opportunity to come out and show what a great player he is this year and have another setback, it’s tough on him.”
Follow Landon Watnick on Twitter @LandonWatnick.
Casey Prather dribbles during Florida’s 67-66 win against Florida State on Nov. 29, 2013, in the O’Connell Center.