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Just as No. 15 Florida Gators basketball (21-5, 11-2 SEC) was picking up steam, it has been dealt a mighty blow. The program announced Wednesday that redshirt junior starting center John Egbunu has been lost for the season with a torn ACL after injuring his knee during Tuesday’s game at Auburn.
Egbunu, a dominant force in the paint who made strides in his game during his second year of active competition at Florida, will miss 10-12 months of action and therefore be unable to return until the middle of the 2017-18 season, according to the Gators.
“We’re all disappointed for John,” head coach Mike White said in a release. “He’s been playing really well of late, so it’s a tough blow to him and our team. He’s a great young man, and unfortunately injuries are a part of basketball. He’ll be back even stronger.”
Egbunu averaged 7.8 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game this season, starting 19 of the 24 contests in which he played. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore C Kevarrius Hayes, who himself has taken major steps in his second year of college basketball.
Senior walk-on C Schuyler Rimmer will see increased action in a reserve role, especially considering freshman C Gorjok Gak is currently sidelined up to two weeks with a foot injury.
OnlyGators.com will update this story shortly.