Florida coach Billy Donovan addressed the nagging knee injury of Will Yeguete on Thursday night, detailing everything from its chronology and symptoms to the surgical procedure and timeline for return.
“His injury started with just having a little bit of tendinitis in his knee, and it was a little bit painful for him,” Donovan said on his call-in show. “And then it started to become a little bit more of a problem and the pain started to move in some different areas.”
Yeguete has not practiced in more than two weeks Donovan revealed, primarily due to ongoing swelling.
“What was happening — after practice, after games — he was getting an enormous amount of swelling,” Donovan said. “What happens is, to protect itself your knee would swell and create more fluid, which would then make him very stiff. And he couldn’t run, couldn’t move.”
Though Donovan said there was initial thought Yeguete could make it through the season without surgery, the issue has been persistent and only temporarily responsive to treatment.
“We ended up icing him and giving him treatment,” Donovan said. “We got the swelling down and then pretty soon after — the next game we played — it kind of came right back.”
It came right back again Tuesday night, this time not following the game, but during. Yeguete played less than a minute in the Florida’s 80-69 loss at Arkansas before being sidelined by the injury.
An MRI revealed what Donovan described as “loose cartilage kind floating around,” and the decision was made for surgery.
“He’s got to go in. They’ll clean his knee out. They’ll take out the loose chips — the loose fragments around his knee,” Donovan said. “We are hopeful with this being done that this will really help him out a great deal”.
While Donovan described the procedure as only taking about a half hour, it is one that will require nearly a month of rehabilitation.
“It will be about, probably two, two and half, three weeks of rehab where he’ll have to do some different exercises,” Donovan said. “Probably in about three weeks maybe get on the court — start to do some running and cutting.”
Though Florida will be without its hustling forward during the season’s final stretch, Donovan was optimistic about Yegeute’s return in time for the conference tournament and perhaps a game sooner.
“This should help him feel a lot better,” Donovan said. “And hopefully get him back, if we are fortunate enough, maybe the last regular season game.”