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Saturday February 11, 2012 Mike Rosario to miss game with hip-pointer; Cody Larson out too

Updated: 2:44pm, February 11

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Backup guard Mike Rosario will miss Saturday’s game against Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee with a hip pointer suffered during practice.

Rosario, the 6-foot-3 junior from Jersey City, N.J., is the team’s leading scorer among reserves at 7.9 points per game and 38 percent from the 3-point line. He was injured when he collided with backup center Cody Larson Thursday. Rosario tried to practice Friday, but could not go, and was held out of Saturday morning’s shoot-around at the O’Connell Center.

UF coach Billy Donovan has a fairly steadfast rule: players who don’t practice, don’t play.

“We’ll be a little short-handed,” Donovan said Saturday. “But we’re fine.”

The eighth-ranked Gators (19-5, 7-2) also won’t have the services of Larson, who has been absent from the team the last two days with a flu-like bug that was swept the UF campus. The 6-9 Larson, however, has only appeared in five games this season. No matter what happens against the Volunteers (12-12, 4-5), he won’t play in a sixth.

Minus two regulars, Donovan had to lean on some walk-ons to provide UT scout-team looks in preparing for the Vols, but today he’ll look to seldom-used sophomore swingman Casey Prather (16 games, 1.8 points, 2 rebounds per game) for some key minutes. Prather, out of Nashville, Tenn., saw increased practice time at both the small and power forward positions the last three days.

“We’re going to need Casey today,” Donovan said.

The Vols had their way with the Gators in a 67-56 win in Knoxville on Jan. 7, limiting UF to its lowest-scoring game of the season and second-worst shooting performance (35.7 from floor and 31.8 from the 3-point line).

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