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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thompkins update: Still a "long way" from playing

Mark Fox held a media availability to preview the Georgia men's basketball team's season opener against Mississippi Valley State. But the discussion centered around a player who will not play in Friday's game.

Trey Thompkins, the preseason SEC player of the year, is definitely out for the opener with a high ankle sprain, and the timetable for his return remains unknown.
Georgia is hopeful Thompkins can practice again in a week, but Fox added that it’s "a long way" from Thompkins being able to play in a game.

Even then, Fox said Thompkins could still be bothered by the ankle.

“I’m not gonna play him if he’s at risk at all, because he has too bright a future,” Fox said. “But past that point, he’ll probably have a little discomfort, I guess, as the scar tissue breaks up.”

Georgia looked good last week without Thompkins, easily winning its exhibition game against Augusta State. But Fox said the team is still “reinventing” its frontcourt without Thompkins. Fox compared it to a football team having to go from being a passing to a running offense.

“You’re taking a guy that’s going to give you 18 and 9 a night, and taking it off your roster,” Fox said.

The 6-foot-9 Thompkins hurt his ankle 10 days ago in a closed scrimmage against Clemson. Since then, according to Fox, the player has been “living in the training room.” He remains in a walking boot, and the ankle is still swollen.

“A lot of it is dependant upon on how well his body responds to the treatment,” Fox said. “Some of the swelling he’ll never lose. It’s not really we’re gauging the amount of swelling, but the rate that he heals.”

Two other brief notes:

- Fox said guard Gerald Robinson Jr. should start on Friday. The transfer from Tennessee State would have in last week’s exhibition game had he not missed a practice with a minor back injury.

- The SEC experienced a rash of upsets in exhibition games on Monday night: Tennessee lost to Indianapolis, and Auburn lost to Columbus State. Alabama also needed double-overtime to beat Alabama-Huntsville.

But Fox, whose team is being picked by some to win the SEC East, shrugged off those results.

“I was on a Sweet 16 team that lost an exhibition game, so I don’t put a lot of stock in that, to be honest with you,” Fox said.

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