Junior guard Michael Frazier II, the team’s leading scorer who has missed seven-straight games while recovering from a high-ankle sprain, should be available for the Florida Gators on Saturday in their regular-season finale at the Kentucky Wildcats.
Head coach Billy Donovan announced as much during a media availability on Friday, noting that Frazier has yet to go through a full practice but will nevertheless travel to Lexington, Kentucky, with the team and likely be called on to come off the bench.
“I’m going into the game with him being available,” Donovan said, cautioning that he is not expecting either pre-injury minutes or a pre-injury performance from Frazier. “It’s another body in our backcourt and if he does well [in practice Friday], we’ll see if he can do anything [Saturday].”
Averaging a team-high 13.2 points per game, Frazier is also Florida’s most-efficient foul shooter at 87.7 percent. The Gators as a team are hitting just 63.5 percent of their gimmies, tying their worst such mark since 1992-93 and currently ranking them 326th out of 345 teams.
Frazier is also one of only two players to hit more than 40 percent of his threes, and his 4.6 rebounds-per-game average is third-best on the team.
Though having Frazier suited up is better than the other option, Donovan expects his contributions to be minimal due to the discomfort he continues to experience.
“I think he’s going to have pain … this is going to be an injury that he’s probably not going to feel 100 percent until the season’s over with and he has significant time to rest,” Donovan explained. “The doctors and the trainers feel like he’s going to have some discomfort but there’s enough strength back in his ankle. There’s been enough healing that’s been able to take place. He’s going to have some discomfort in his foot, but I think the trainer and the doctors don’t feel like he’s putting himself in any more harm’s way. It’s just going to be something that’s going to be nagging and lingering in terms of the pain.”
With Frazier in tow, Florida will look to prevent Kentucky from becoming just the second team in Southeastern Conference history to go undefeated through the 18-game regular-season league slate; the Gators became the first program to hit that mark just last season, finishing 21-0 after winning three games in the 2014 SEC Tournament.
Update: After Friday’s shootaround, a source told OnlyGators.com that Frazier moved relatively well on the court and did not suffer any setbacks. He is still expected to see some action on Saturday.