Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox thought he was getting some good news about star player Trey Thompkins when approached by a trainer prior to practice Tuesday afternoon.
But alas, the Bulldog junior is still slated to miss an undetermined amount of time while he recovers from his high ankle sprain.
"My trainer came to me today and said he's doing a little bit better, so I'm like so he can play, maybe dress out?," Fox said. "He shook his head and said no."
Fox said don't look for Thompkins to play when the Bulldogs host Mississippi Valley State in their season opener Friday night (7 p.m.).
Hopefully, the wait won't be much longer.
The Georgia training staff has continued to aggressively treat Thompson's injury, which has caused the Bulldogs' leading scorer and rebounder to miss the past 10 days.
"I don't know if I could tell you a best-case scenario. A lot of it depends upon how well his body responds to the treatment," Fox said. "Some of the swelling he'll never lose so it's not really that we're gauging the amount of swelling as the rate for how quickly it heals. We're hopeful that the next week we can have him but he's a long way away from playing, I know that."
Even if Thompkins were to be cleared tomorrow, it would still be a few days before he would be ready to get back on the court and contribute.
"He hasn't been practicing so that's another thing. He hasn't practiced in 10 days, so it's not like the day he gets cleared for activity we throw him into a game," Fox said. "He hasn't been practicing, so he hasn't built up any endurance."
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs won't be taking any chances with the 6-foot-10 Thompkins.
According to Fox, he won't rush his star player's comeback nor will he override any decision by the basketball training staff in an effort to get him on the court quicker.
"The time is far from ideal but I'm not going to play him if he's at risk at all because he has too bright a future," Fox said. "Once he's able to play he'll probably have a little discomfort I would guess, but we'll make sure the joint is healthy before we clear him to play. That won't be my decision; it will be the medical staff."
Until Thompkins does come back, look for the Bulldogs to shake up the way they play.
For example, don't be surprised if the Bulldog elect to go with more of a three-guard look with Gerald Robinson, Dustin Ware and Travis Leslie with Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes.
"If you think about it, we've really had to re-invent our team. Even when he got hurt I thought he'd be back in a few days, but once we got the MRI and saw the swelling, we got different news," Fox said. "It's almost like we've gone from being a passing team to figuring out how to run the ball in football. It doesn't happen overnight. We do have some guys we can put in there, but they're young, they're green and we've lost our leading scorer. We're going to have to patch this thing together, but we will and the guys are really excited about trying to rally around Trey because he's been a real big part of our team."
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