With January winding down, it doesn’t appear that senior center John Egbunu will be returning to the court for the Gators in the immediate future.
The 6-foot-11, 265 pound Egbunu is labeled as “day-to-day” but Florida coach Mike White said he has yet to be cleared for full contact. White said Egbunu, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL, will need to go through contact practices in order to return to game action. Florida next plays Tuesday night at Georgia.
White said Egbunu is running at three-quarters speed and dunking the basketball, but is still dealing with some swelling in his surgically repaired knee following workouts. Egbunu suffered the injury close to a year ago, on Feb. 14, 2017 against Auburn, and underwent surgery in early March. There was originally hope Egbunu could return to the court this month, but now the timetable for a full recovery remains undetermined.
“Obviously, I wish he was out there,” White said. “I wish he was out there four months ago. I know he does, too. His teammates do. I have no idea. It’s just a deal with him and (trainer) Duke (Werner) in terms of his comfort level, swelling versus not swelling, how he feels overall. I know I’m not going to push it and Duke is not going to push it. Ultimately it’s on John and how he feels.”
White said freshman forward Chase Johnson, meanwhile, is making progress in returning from concussion protocol. The 6-9 Johnson, who has appeared in just four games this season, suffered an initial concussion in October and a second concussion in early December.
“Most of the time in the last two months you get negative responses to how you are feeling,” White said of Johnson. “They’ve all been positive. I think he’s starting to feel a little bit better, consistently. Happy for him, hopefully we can get him on the court full speed soon.”
White said there still hasn’t been a determination on whether freshman center Isaiah Stokes, who also is recovering from ACL surgery, will redshirt this season.
“With him, there’s not even a decision to be made right now, because of his conditioning,” White said. “I think if his weight got down and he got into great shape here over the next 2-4 weeks and he really wanted to come off a redshirt and we felt like he could help this team from a conditioning standpoint, there would be a decision. But right now, he’s just way out of shape. Obviously, a big factor is he hasn’t been able to really get after it and exert himself. Hopefully there’s a decision to be made, but right now there’s not.”