GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Junior forward Casey Prather will return to action for the Florida Gators earlier than expected.
He’s been cleared to play Wednesday night when fourth-ranked UF (16-2, 6-0) faces South Carolina at the O’Connell Center.
Prather, sidelined since spraining his left ankle in the first half of the LSU game on Jan. 12, was was cleared for practice contact Monday and went full-speed the last three days, including Wednesday afternoon during UF’s shoot-around.
The target return for Prather had been Saturday’s home game against Ole Miss, but after he moved and practiced well this week Coach Billy Donovan met with trainer David “Duke” Werner and together they decided to give the swingman the go-ahead to play against the Gamecocks.
Donovan said after the shoot-around that he wasn't sure how many minutes Prather would play, but his availability means the Gators will have their full eight-man rotation for just the ninth time in 19 games this season.
The 6-foot-6, 212-pound Prather is averaging 6.8 points on 65.9 percent shooting, 3.3 rebounds and 15.5 minutes per game. Aside from missing the previous four games with the ankle sprain, Prather also missed the season’s first four games after sustaining a pair of concussions in the preseason.
UF is looking to go 7-0 in Southastern Conferences play for only the third time in school history and remain a game up on Ole Miss, which lost for the first time Tuesday night, in the conference standings.