Gator hoops shrugging off injuries

Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 5:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 5:17 p.m.

If the UF men's basketball team has been limited by injuries, head coach Billy Donovan doesn't feel it.

Center Vernon Macklin has been nagged by a variety of injuries — bone spurs and tendinitis in his knees and most recently a strained pectoral muscle. But he has provided the Gators with a quality low-post presence throughout his senior season.

"I'm not having to hold him out of practice, I'm not having to cut his minutes in games," Donovan said Thursday. "I'm sure he's sore. He's got his bumps and bruises. But now moving into the middle of January, I don't know if there's any team or player out there that says, 'Physically, I feel great.'

"You're going to have some of that to deal with. But I feel confident that he can continue to play like he is, and I think he's played pretty well."

The Gators expect to get a boost in their game against South Carolina on Saturday from a limited return by sophomore forward Erik Murphy, who has missed three games with a mid-foot sprain.

Murphy warmed up with the team before the Tennessee game Tuesday and was slated to practice Thursday.

"I expect him to be able to play some," Donovan said. "But a lot of it is going to be based on how he is feeling."

Murphy was averaging 6.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest and leading the Gators in making 85 percent of his free throws.

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