November 3, 2010

Thompkins out two-six weeks

Between two and six weeks - that's how long Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox said it will take star forward Trey Thompkins to return from the high-ankle sprain he suffered in practice last Saturday.

"It could be two weeks, it could be month depending how he responds to treatment," Fox said after practice Wednesday. "Basically, we're treating him as aggressively as we can, re-evaluate him next week and see where he stands."

Regardless, the Bulldogs won't have Thompkins in their lineup when they host Augusta State in an exhibition game Thursday night (7 p.m.) at Stegeman Coliseum.

Chances of him playing in the season-opener are according to Fox also "extremely slim" and it's also not out of the realm of possibility that Thompkins could miss the entire November portion of the schedule, including Georgia's trip to Orlando (Nov. 25-28) for the Old Spice Classic.

"I think it's a pretty significant injury. It's a high-ankle sprain which is the worst kind and it's fairly severe," Fox said. "It couldn't have happened at a worse time for him or our team but we're going to have to rally the troops and adjust."

Thompkins, the preseason SEC Player of the Year after averaging 17.7 points his sophomore season, suffered the injury on Saturday while chasing a loose ball.

According to Fox, it was the first time in five years that a member of the Georgia basketball team has suffered high-ankle sprain in-season, although another Bulldog had the same injury over the summer and took five weeks to recover.

"I don't know if it will be that long, but I've asked them to treat him as much as they can treat him to try and get that swelling out of there first," Fox said. "He's had an MRI, he's had X-rays and we're going to treat him as aggressively as we can then re-evaluate him in a week to 10 days and see how much progress he's made. He's got a very bright future and we're not going to bring him back before he's ready."

With Thompkins out, look for senior Chris Barnes to slide into the starting lineup alongside Jeremy Price with guards Dustin Ware, Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson.

Freshman Marcus Thornton could also see extended playing time, but Fox made it clear his Bulldogs don't need any more injuries to occur.

"The one thing is on the day that it happened we had a player who was attending a funeral with his family and so it really kind of opened our eyes to if that happened we'd be in a position that we'd really not be comfortable with," Fox said. "I think the one thing we'll probably lean on this week is our experience and I would think with J.P. (Price) and Chris Barnes up front, they've played both spots up there and have comfort level there. We'll eventually have a little diversity in our lineup and be able to play a little smaller, maybe a little more athletic and ultimately we'll be able to play a little bit bigger if we can get Travis time at the 2."

But Fox made it clear they won't rush Thompkins' recovery.

"We're going to do what's best for this kid first," Fox said. "We're going to make sure he's healthy before we play him but we know with Trey and his drive that will probably be a problem we run into with him in a week where he'll want to come back earlier than he needs to because of his lust to play."

NOTES: Admission to Thursday's game is free. The Bulldogs open their regular season Nov. 12 against Mississippi Valley State.

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