Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan confirmed Wednesday that neither senior forward Will Yeguete nor junior guard Eli Carter will be medically cleared when the team assembles to practice for the first time on Oct. 11.
Attending the Jimmy V. Classic Gala in New York, NY, Donovan said Yegeute, who had offseason surgery last spring to repair knee cartilage, is “still in the process of rehabbing” while Carter, who fractured his right fibula in a game on Feb. 16, is “still in the process of recovering.”
Earlier in the day, Donovan told Florida’s school website that it is unlikely Carter will be medically cleared to play for the season opener against North Florida on Nov. 8.
“It’s going to be a process,” he said. “Right now, he’s way, way behind. He’s behind in terms of his conditioning and being able to play. He’s only been able to do a few workouts by himself.”
Initial expectations from his surgeons and trainers at Rutgers had Carter being able to start running in June, though it is unknown what he has actually done at this point. Unless medically necessary, a redshirt is unlikely for Carter, who on Monday was granted a waiver to play immediately by the NCAA.
Though the Gators are considered to be one of the deepest teams in the nation, Florida may have that depth tested at the very start of the 2013-14 season.
Yeguete and Carter are still recovering from injuries. Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin is currently indefinitely suspended from team activities and facing a multi-game suspension of unannounced length after violating team rules in the offseason. Additionally, five-star power forward Chris Walker (Bonifay, FL) failed to qualify for the fall but is on track to join the team at some point in December.
Assuming those are the only four players potentially held out of action on Nov. 8, UF would head into its season opener with just eight scholarship players on the roster.
“I’m concerned about our team now because of injuries. There’s a lot of unknowns right now,” Donovan said Wednesday, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports Network.
The Gators start the season with six of their first seven games in the state of Florida – including a road contest at Jacksonville on Nov. 25 – but travel across the country for their second game of the season when they take on Wisconsin on Nov. 12.