Florida Gators forward Will Yeguete underwent an arthroscopic debridement on his right knee Wednesday morning and will be sidelined for approximately four months.
Yeguete had arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the season in February but was made well aware that the procedure was unlikely to be a permanent fix or long-term solution. He was motivated to have the in-season surgery in order to return to the court and help his team during postseason play, something he completely missed during his sophomore season when a foot injury sidelined him for the NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Billy Donovan noted on April 10 that a second surgery for Yeguete, who is entering his senior season, was certain but the timing of it was unknown.
Yeguete had the option to undergo surgery in the offseason or – if he felt he could handle the discomfort – wait until the end of his collegiate career.
“That’s probably definitely an option that is going to be on the table that they’re going to look at and consider probably very strongly. He was able to play with his knee the way it was, so he’s going to have to make a decision of what he wants to do.”
Yeguete’s knee swelled up during the postseason and he was forced to have it drained prior to Florida’s game against Florida Gulf Coast. It was obvious that he did not have the same explosiveness or leaping ability after he returned from the first surgery.
New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire is the most famous athlete to undergo knee debridement surgery; he had it on each of his knees this past season. The procedure cleans out infected tissue from a joint while simultaneously clearing bone fragments, cartilage and other debris that could be effecting natural movement. Bones may also be smoothed during the procedure.
A four-month rehabilitation schedule would put Yeguete on track to return to the court at the end of September. This month, the NCAA ruled that teams can begin practicing in late-September, moving up the start of the sport’s season more than a month.