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Casey Prather injury: X-rays negative, high ankle sprain possible

Florida's super-athletic forward may have a high ankle sprain, and may ride the bench for a while because of it.

Stacy Revere

Florida forward Casey Prather left Saturday's 74-52 win against LSU with what appeared to be a lower leg injury. Reports during the game indicated that X-rays on Prather's leg were negative, but Prather did not play in the second half — and might not play for a while, if he has the high ankle sprain that LSU doctors told Florida coach Billy Donovan Prather might have.

At the 7:37 mark of the above video, Donovan addresses Prather's injury:

Well, the good news is, it's not a break. That's what I first was told, that they thought it was a break. They took him for X-rays, and it turned out to be negative.

The doctor here at LSU thinks it may be a high ankle sprain. I don't know if it is. I didn't see him roll his ankle. He just kind of came down on it funny.

Our trainer said there has not been much swelling in it right now, so ... it could be he's okay, or it could be, you know, he's out for a couple weeks, or he's out for a few days. I have no idea yet.

To my completely untrained eye, what Prather's leg did on the play in question — taking a shock in the lower calf, but without the ankle rolling over — is pretty consistent with high ankle sprains, and high ankle sprains are bad for an athlete's ability to play.

Not only are they rather painful (and I speak from experience on that), but they dramatically limit the flexibility of the ankle and the ability to run, things that are more central to basketball players than football players and to the exceptionally athletic Prather more than most. A high ankle sprain knocked John Brantley out of Florida's 2011 loss to Alabama, kept him out of the Gators' next two games, and severely limited him when he returned to the lineup four weeks later against Georgia.

Prather's athleticism is in a different category, so he might be better able to play through an injury like that. And we don't know for certain that Prather's injury is a high ankle sprain, though I would have problems guessing a different injury he could have based on what I saw and another doctor's guess.

But Florida ought to get ready to play without Prather, averaging 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, for at least a few contests.