Erik Murphy injury: Gators forward leaves game with ankle sprain, "is fine"

USA TODAY Sports

Florida can't afford many more injuries in its frontcourt, and yet Erik Murphy sustained one in the final few minutes against Mississippi State. He "is fine," according to Florida's official basketball reporter.

Florida's had an awful time of staying healthy in the 2012-13 season, with all of its seven most-used players sustaining one injury or another over the course of the year. Erik Murphy's sprained ankle against Mississippi State, which sent him to the locker room early, may be the least timely and most damaging of them all.

Murphy appeared to tweak the ankle while in the high post with just over five minutes to go in Florida's Saturday victory over the Bulldogs, limped off the court during play, and went immediately to the locker room to be examined.

Florida's played without Murphy before this season — broken ribs forced Murphy to sit out a game played at Yale that was supposed to serve as a homecoming of sorts for the Rhode Island native — and has endured all those other injuries without being seriously challenged by most of its schedule. But being without Murphy and Will Yeguete, out for the rest of the regular season after knee surgery, would make Florida small and thin in its frontcourt.

And being thin in the frontcourt would be especially problematic against Kentucky, which has Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Alex Poythress up front ... and the Wildcats will see Florida in Gainesville on Tuesday.

Florida coach Billy Donovan said Murphy "tweaked" the ankle and "is fine," but Murphy's rib injury against Air Force, the one that kept him out against Yale? It wasn't announced to the public until the day of the Yale game, eight days after it was originally sustained.

We'll have updates on Murphy's condition as they come.

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