GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida forward Erik Murphy likely won't play in the 11th-ranked Gators' SEC opener on Wednesday against visiting Georgia and could be out up to two weeks because of fractured ribs.
Coach Billy Donovan said Monday that the 6-foot-10 Murphy -- UF's second-leading scorer -- has been cleared to play because the area is not likely to suffer further damage.
"There's no difference between if they're bruised other than the healing process," said Donovan, who described the spot of the injury as near Murphy's armpit. "He can play. It's about how much pain he can tolerate. But he's not going to significantly hurt himself anymore because if he had [broken ribs], it's not going to be a problem."
The injury causes Murphy pain whenever he raises his arms to shoot or rebound.
Murphy, who is averaging 12.1 points and leads the team in 3-point shooting at 45.2 percent, injured his ribs in the Gators' victory over Air Force on Dec. 29.
He practiced three times the following week but was hit again in the ribs Wednesday and was unable to play against Yale on Sunday night.
UF (10-2) likely will start 6-7 junior forward Will Yeguete (6.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg) in Murphy's place. Yeguete is UF's best interior defender and leading rebounder.