Barring what coach Billy Donovan called a "drastic change" over the next 48 hours, Florida will be without Al Horford, its leading scorer and rebounder, when the Gators meet Ohio State on Saturday in one of the bigger non-league games in all of college basketball.
"I did workout Al for 10 minutes or so on Monday, and I did work him out a little bit yesterday," Donovan said Thursday morning. "It's just obvious right now with where he's at movement wise that he can't play."
A 6-10 forward, Horford missed Sunday's win over Florida A&M and Wednesday's win over Stetson because of a high ankle sprain. Still, No. 5 Florida (10-2) held out hope that the junior who is averaging 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds would be available when the third-ranked Buckeyes (10-1), led by freshman star Greg Oden, visit the O'Connell Center for a CBS-televised showdown featuring a pair of legitimate Final Four candidates.
Alas, it doesn't appear likely.
"I think (Horford is) disappointed, and I think he's upset and I think he's bothered," Donovan said. "He wants to be out there playing. But with the way he's moving and cutting and with what I saw yesterday and his conditioning right now, I don't even see how he could play.. .. My belief right now in talking to our doctors and our trainers is that he's not playing."