UF’s Egbunu cleared for non-contact drills in practice

Florida center John Egbunu in action last season. (AP Photo/Ron Irby/File)

Florida senior center John Egbunu took a positive step in his return to the court when he was cleared for non-contact drills in practice Monday.

Florida coach Mike White said the timetable for the 6-foot-11, 265-pound Egbunu remains a late January return at the earliest. Egbunu tore his ACL last Feb. 14 against Auburn and underwent surgery in early March.

Freshman center Isaiah Stokes (torn ACL recovery) and freshman forward Chase Johnson (concussion) also took part in non-contact work in practice Monday.

“(Egbunu) looked great, he looked enormous. He’s got to get back in game shape, same with Isaiah Stokes,” White said. “It looks like we just signed two defensive ends. They’re both just big guys and John showed a little explosion, again non-contact, but he darn near tore the rim down a couple times yesterday and he was excited about it.”

Egbunu averaged 7.8 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds last season. Without him, the Gators have struggled to defend in the paint and score consistently inside.

Florida senior point guard Chris Chiozza said it was good to see Egbunu back on the court.

“Our post defense will be better when he’s back,” Chiozza said. “We won’t have to trap as much and he can clean up some more mistakes like Kevarrius does a good job of doing. I think when we get him back we’re going to have an even better defense and interior presence.”


  1. That’s great news to get all the big men back in non-contact roles. It means there’s been no setbacks in rehab. Egbunu and Stokes back to 100% in a few weeks will be like having a new team.

    Maybe Gak will be back for the first UK game, but concussion protocol can be tricky to clear that quickly.