Donovan: Yeguete, Carter won't be available at start of practice


Florida Gators forward Will Yeguete smiles after drawing a foul against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles during the second half of the Sweet 16 game at Cowboys Stadium on Friday, March 29, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. Florida defeated the Eagles 62-50 to advance to the Elite Eight for the third year in a row.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 8:23 p.m.

Florida will be banged up and short-handed heading into its first practice of the season.

Florida coach Billy Donovan confirmed Wednesday that both forward Will Yeguete and guard Eli Carter won't be available when practice starts Oct. 11.

Yeguete underwent surgery last May to repair cartilage in his knee.

“(He's) still not cleared to play, don't know when he'll be cleared to play,” Donovan said before Wednesday night's Jimmy V Classic Gala in New York City. “Will not start practice our first day. He's still in the process of rehabbing.”

Donovan said Carter “still is in the process of recovering” from a broken leg he suffered last February that ended his sophomore season at Rutgers.

With Carter and Yeguete out, Florida starts practices perilously thin. Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin remains suspended from the team indefinitely and is working out separately from the team.

With that in mind, it's easy to understand why Florida chose not to start practice until Oct. 11. The Gators could have began practices last weekend, but would have had to spread out 30 sessions over 42 days before their Nov. 8 season-opener against UNF.

“We just felt like it would be a great opportunity to work with our guys individually, help them continue to get better and focus on strength and conditioning,” Donovan said. “Also, starting on Oct. 11 gets us more into a flow instead of practicing three days, then taking two days off. This way we can get a little bit of consistency. Based on our first game and where we're starting, we really felt like we had plenty of time to get ready.”

Florida will face Memphis in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York City (9 p.m., ESPN). Tickets for the event went on sale beginning Wednesday and can be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com and www.thegarden.com.

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