Murphy injury not as serious as feared

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Erik Murphy's knee injury is not as serious as originally feared and it's possible Florida's junior forward could be back on the court for the ninth-ranked Gators' game against Arizona on Tuesday.

UF coach Billy Donovan said Murphy just has a bone bruise in his right knee and the slightly torn meniscus that showed up in tests last Saturday is actually a previous injury from high school. Donovan said the latest test results were compared to previous tests results from when Murphy suffered a knee injury in high school at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass.

Murphy won't need surgery, Donovan said, and there isn't any further concern about the meniscus tear.

"The injuries that showed up there [on the X-rays and MRI] this time were there last time," Donovan said. "We felt like the swelling that he was dealing with was really from the bone bruise, and that's usually and 10- to 14-day recovery. We'll try to get him back to try to start doing some things."

Donovan said the confusion over the severity of Murphy's injury was partly due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Murphy suffered the injury during practice on Thanksgiving and underwent tests on Saturday morning. That's when the meniscus tear was diagnosed. However, Donovan said Murphy's father wasn't able to get the results of S-rays and an MRI done after Murphy's high school injury until early this week, after which they were compared to the most recent results.

That's when doctors found that the slight meniscus tear was actually a previous injury. Donovan said Murphy played the rest of his high school career with the injury without any ill affects and it hasn't bothered him during his first two seasons in Gainesville.

"It's very, very subtle, very small," Donovan said. "It was there last time.

"He dealt with it in high school and then the doctor that he saw didn't feel like he needed surgery. That doctor and our doctors talked a little bit about what needs to be done. At least right now everybody's on the same page of what to do rehab-wise and then we'll see how he'll respond the next couple days."

Donovan said Murphy, who averaged 10.0 points and 4.0 rebounds and was shooting 57.1 percent from 2-point range (8 for 14) in UF's first four games, will not play at third-ranked Syracuse (7-0) on Friday but could return for Tuesday's home game against Arizona (5-2). The Gators (5-1) play Rider (1-6) in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 9 and then take a week off before playing Texas A&M (4-1) on Dec. 17 in Sunrise, Fla.