Trio of Gators – Murphy, Prather, Adams – injured

By Adam Silverstein
November 25, 2011

Three Florida Gators student-athletes – two basketball players and one cheerleader – have suffered or aggravated injuries over the last two days.

Junior forward Erik Murphy was forced to miss Friday’s 107-62 blowout victory over Jacksonville after injuring his right knee during practice Thursday. He went to the hospital for an evaluation, but head coach Billy Donovan said the seriousness of the injury remains unknown. Trainers have ruled out an injury to Murphy’s anterior cruciate ligament and expect him to return this season.

“He kind of banged knees with somebody in practice. It was kind of a fluke play,” Donovan said. “It wasn’t anything that prevented him from [finishing] practicing. It happened early in practice, and he didn’t even remember it. He finished up practice last night. With it being Thanksgiving, I had the guys at the house yesterday. He was really complaining that his knee was really bothering him. It continued to swell. With it being Thanksgiving, it makes it difficult to get MRIs and X-rays at 8:00 at night.

“There is a concern right now because he’s had a very difficult time walking. He can’t put any pressure on it.”

Playing one of the best games of his career Friday, sophomore guard/forward Casey Prather saw extensive time in the first half but did not return to the court coming out of the locker rooms after reinjuring a sore groin muscle that had previously been been bothering him. He finished with six points, three rebounds and two steals.

“He slipped in practice yesterday and he kind of tweaked his groin,” Donovan explained. “It was bothering him a little bit in shoot around, but he was able to go tonight and then he tweaked it again.”

The Gators will further evaluate Prather over the weekend and determine whether or not he will be able to participate against Stetson on Monday.

While Florida was upending Jacksonville on the court, a Gators cheerleader was hurt on the side. Senior Laura Adams, a second-year member of the squad and a physical therapy major, tore her Achilles tendon while tumbling and was helped off by teammates.

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