ATHENS -– Georgia’s basketball team apparently will open the season without its best player.
Junior forward Trey Thompkins, recently voted the SEC’s preseason player-of-the-year, has a high ankle sprain that will keep him out of Thursday night’s exhibition game against Augusta State and make his chances “extremely slim” of playing in the regular-season opener Nov. 12 against Mississippi Valley State, coach Mark Fox said Wednesday.
“I think it’s a pretty significant injury,” Fox said. “It’s a high ankle sprain, which is the worst kind. It’s fairly severe. It couldn’t happen at a worse time for him or our team. But injuries are a part of the game, and we’re going to have to rally the troops and adjust.”
Fox said there is no firm timetable for Thompkins’ return.
“Could be two weeks. Could be a month. Kind of depends on how he responds to the treatment,” Fox said. “So we basically have left it [that] we’re going to treat him as aggressively as we can and reevaluate him here in a week and see.”
Fox said another player on the team required almost five weeks to recover from a similar injury during the summer.
Thompkins’ injury, which is to his right ankle, occurred as he chased a loose ball in a closed scrimmage on Saturday.
X-rays and an MRI revealed no injury beyond the sprain, Fox said. Thompkins will get thrice-daily treatment, and Fox said he does not believe surgery will be needed.
Thompkins was not available for comment Wednesday.
“He’s handled it pretty maturely. He’s probably handled it better than I have, to be honest,” Fox said. “But our team is deeper this year. We’re going to test our depth from Day 1.”
Thompkins averaged 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season. He drew 18 of the 20 votes for SEC preseason player of the year.
“He’s got a very bright future,” Fox said, “and we won’t bring him back until his body is ready.”
Thursday’s exhibition against Augusta State will be the Bulldogs’ first game in the renovated Stegeman Coliseum. Tipoff is 7 p.m.