Mark Fox's eyes began to well as he described what Juwan Parker went through over the previous four games.
Parker's injury had been lingering until the pain became more severe against Auburn. Following the regular-season finale against Arkansas, Parker continued to gut out the pain against Tennessee in the second round of the SEC Tournament.
A day later, he was only able to play 12 minutes against Kentucky in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.
Parker asked to be taken out of that game as he couldn't deal with the pain anymore. Recalling that moment, Fox became emotional. An MRI later confirmed Parker partially tore his right Achilles, which prevented him from participating in Wednesday's 78-69 loss to Belmont in the first round of the NIT.
Never miss a local story.
"We knew in the Kentucky game, which was very unlike Juwan. He had tears in his eyes," Fox said. "He wanted to come out. He's a tough dude. I knew he was hurt."
At this moment, Fox was fighting back tears himself.
"I get emotional because when a kid gives you his body like that, that's the ultimate sacrifice," Fox said. "We knew it was very unlikely he was going to be able to come back and play."
Parker's injury isn't considered as serious as the previous Achilles tear he dealt with for a year and a half, which was sustained in his left foot. A timetable for recovery is unknown at this time. Parker will receive consultation from specialists on the injury in the coming days.
Georgia was also without forward Yante Maten for the NIT opener. Maten played back-to-back days against Tennessee and Kentucky in the SEC Tournament after sustaining a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his right knee. Following the Kentucky game, Fox said Maten's knee did not recover well, which led to the decision to keep him out for the Belmont game.
"He just was very sore and stiff, and couldn't move," Fox said. "He was not able to practice. Two games in a row was probably too much. Give him credit for fighting back. But I thought his body fought back after Nashville, (Tennessee). I thought his body kind of told him he needed to have some rest. We were hopeful Yante would be able to play. That decision wasn't made by the medical people until (Wednesday) morning."
Without two of Georgia's better defenders, it became difficult to slow down Belmont's 3-point shooting attack. The Bruins made 14 of their 31 3-point attempts en route to the win.
"It was really a challenge without those guys," Fox said. "Their experience, their strength, their anticipation defensively, we certainly missed that."