Chris Harry’s Blog Harry Fodder
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Forward Erik Murphy has a fractured rib, X-rays confirmed Monday, but his status for Florida’s upcoming games remains uncertain.
Murphy, the 6-foot-10 senior, lifted weights and did some light running and shooting at practice Monday afternoon, as the 11th-ranked Gators (10-2) prepared for the start of the Southeastern Conference season Wednesday night against Georgia (6-7) at the O’Connell Center.
UF trainer David “Duke” Werner pinpointed Murphy’s injury as the eighth rib on the left side. As of Monday night, he remained doubtful for the game with the Bulldogs, but the staff will see how much he can do Tuesday and probably at Wednesday's shoot-around before making a final call.
“Nothing’s determined for sure yet,” Werner said. “We’re going to see how he feels.”
Murphy, Florida’s second-leading scorer at 12.1 points per game, suffered a bruise to his side on the second possession of UF’s win over Air Force on Dec. 29, but went on to play one of his most complete games of the season: 21 points on 8-for-10 from the floor, seven rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and MVP honors of the Orange Bowl Classic.
He took part in every practice last week, including a pair of two-a-days, but on Friday took a forearm to almost the exact same spot and rib cracked.
Two hits to the side, two different injuries.
The pain was bad enough to scratch Murphy from Sunday night’s game at Yale, where several dozen fans made the trip from his hometown of South Kingstown, R.I., to see him play.
“It’s in a really bad spot. It’s right by his lat [muscle],” Coach Billy Donovan said. “Any time he raises his arms up or reaches his arms up, there’s a significant amount of pain.”
How much that pain subsides will be the determining factor whether Murphy plays against the Bulldogs in two days or Saturday afternoon in UF’s SEC road opener at LSU.