Wednesday night, at 2:47 a.m. ET, Will Yeguete, a 6-foot-7 forward for the Florida Gators, sent out the following cryptic tweet:
I can’t believe this is happening, this must be a nightmare….
— Will Yeguete (@Will15Yeguete) February 7, 2013
On Thursday afternoon, we found out what Yeguete was referring to: he’s going to miss the rest of the regular season.
Yeguete had been dealing with tendonitis in his knee all season long, but last month, in a game against LSU, he aggravated that injury and was forced into reduced practice time and extra rehab. Early in the first half of Tuesday’s loss to Arkansas, Yeguette felt a pop in his knee. He missed the rest of the game, and was eventually diagnosed with loose pieces of cartilage floating in his knee:
Yeguete will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Friday morning and be sidelined from four to six weeks. Assuming his rehab goes well, the timetable for Yeguete’s return could have him back on the court as the Gators prepare for the Southeastern Conference and NCAA tournaments.
This is the second straight season where an injury has cost Yeguete the stretch run. Last year, he broke a foot in February and missed Florida’s run to the Elite 8.
This is a huge blow to the Gators. Not only is Yeguete their second-leading rebounder and source of energy, he’s their best defender and the versatile piece that allows them to be effective in a press.
The Gators have been beat up all season long, from Scottie Wilbekin’s thumb to Erik Murphy’s rib to Casey Prather’s ankle, but the issue here is that Donovan now has no front court depth. Prather, a 6-foot-6 wing, may be forced into a power forward role with Yeguete gone.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.