Suffering his second concussion of the 2011-12 season at home against Tennessee last Saturday, Florida Gators sophomore forward Will Yeguete looked to miss a significant period of time with head coach Billy Donovan even mentioning that he could be out of action for multiple weeks due to the severity of his head injury.
Yeguete, who sat out Florida’s game on Tuesday (a 61-52 win on the road at Alabama) and watched the contest from his dorm room in Gainesville, FL, believes he could very well be back as soon as Saturday’s game at the Arkansas Razorbacks if he continues progressing in a positive direction.
“It was kind of a helpless feeling not to be there [Tuesday] but relaxing and resting was what was best for me,” he said on Thursday. “I’m doing much better now, and I’m hoping I can play. We will see.”
Donovan said Monday that Yeguete had only passed two of the concussion tests he needed to satisfy in order to resume practicing with the team. According to Florida, he passed and met his pre-established baselines for “a third on Monday and the other two Wednesday,” clearing him to resume a workout schedule with the team.
The Gators note that it will be determined on Friday whether or not Yeguete will travel with the team to face Arkansas on Saturday. If he does board the plane, barring an unforeseen setback, it is likely that he will see action over the weekend.
Donovan did not take Yeguete’s second concussion lightly. He was extremely concerned when he saw him unconscious on the court after Yeguete hit his head against the basket station and was pessimistic about his return when his second-year defensive star failed three of the five concussion tests initially, calling him “way off” from playing.
“There’s protocol that the trainer and the medical staff have to go through as it relates to conclusions,” Donovan said Monday. “The concussion issues right now because of football have been addressed at certainly a very heightened level. There is this protocol we have to go through regardless of how Will is feeling.”
Now it appears as if Florida may be able to count on one of their most important players returning against a team looking to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Yeguete is not the only reserve who has missed the last two games. Gators redshirt junior guard Mike Rosario (hip pointer) missed his fourth and fifth contests of the season and is unlikely to face the Razorbacks even though he “did participate in an individual instruction workout after practice” on Thursday, according to UF.
Photo Credit: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press