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Monday January 21, 2013Prather will miss two more games

Casey GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Forward Casey Prather’s high ankle sprain will keep him out at least the next two games for the Florida Gators.

Prather, who rolled his left ankle in UF’s win at LSU on Jan. 12, remained in a protective boot for most of last week and watched from the bench as the Gators rang up lopsided wins over Texas A&M on the road and Missouri at home.

Florida (14-2, 4-0), tied with Ole Miss for first place in the Southeastern Conference, faces league foes Georgia (7-10, 1-3) on the road Wednesday night, then heads to Mississippi State (7-9, 2-2) Saturday night.

“The major concern with the injury right now is bringing him back too soon and having to deal with lingering pain and discomfort, and him being hobbled by this the rest of the year,” Donovan said Monday. “Since we’ve come this far, let’s try to get him fully healthy. My guess would be that this week he’ll do rehab [and] will not practice at all.”

After missing the season’s first five games due to a pair of concussions sustained in preseason practices, the 6-foot-6 Prather averaged 6.8 points on nearly 66 percent shooting and grabbed 3.3 rebounds in 10 games, including two starts, before going down late in the first half at LSU.

As the best athlete on the team, Prather is a key component for the Gators in transition, when pressing on defense and on the glass.

Because he’s the best athlete on the team, Donovan and team trainer David “Duke” Werner want Prather at 100 percent health, rather than rolling him out at 80 or 90 percent and risk losing him to a setback.

“Having him back would be big for us [and] would help us,” senior forward Erik Murphy said. “We’re just trying to do what we can without him, and we’re doing all right.”

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