ATHENS - There's good news for Georgia's men's basektball team, which has yet another important non-conference game this Sunday.
Kenny Gaines is expected to play, his sprained shoulder healed enough to return to practice on Thursday. Gaines, the team's starting shooting guard, suffered the injury in the team's most recent game, Dec. 7 against Colorado.
But the two week break came at a good time, giving Gaines a chance to heal up.
"I would say I think he will play," head coach Mark Fox said. "We were able to get him partially back in practice. But it's been a slow recovery. He couldn't shoot a ball for nine days. It's been a more significant injury than we thought. But he was able to return some to practice (Thursday), and keep his fingers crossed that he's responded well. So I think by Sunday he should be able to play."
Gaines injured the shoulder while diving for a loose ball late in the win over Colorado. He was diagnosed right away with a sprain, then the team sent him back for another MRI two days later, which confirmed the initial diagnosis.
Although the injury is to Gaines' right shoulder, and he's right-handed, Fox said the injury itself isn't as much of an issue as the practice time that Gaines missed, and the effect on his conditioning.
"The range of motion is back, so the actual angles of shooting the ball, that would all be fine," Fox said.
Gaines is the team's third-leading scorer this season, at 11.3 points per game, but he was slowed at the start of the season by the lingering effects of mononucleosis. Gaines was Georgia's second-leading scorer last year.