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Chip Towers

Beat-up Bulldogs hope to heal before Vanderbilt

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Apparently the Bulldogs are even more beat up than previously thought.

It’s well known that Georgia played without shooting guards Kenny Gaines (thigh bruise) and Juwan Parker (hamstring) this past Saturday at Kentucky. But forward Donte Williams also had to leave that game after slamming his head on the court while trying to take a charge from 250-pound Julius Randle. And guard J.J. Frazier had to get an MRI and X-rays of a wrist.

The good news is it appears the latter two players will be OK to play Wednesday at home against Vanderbilt. The bad news is coach Mark Fox is still not sure whether Gaines or Parker will be back.

“We’re just trying to treat them as much as we can,” Fox said on the SEC coaches’ teleconference call Monday. “They were in the building a couple of times (Sunday) getting treatment in hopes that they can meet the thresholds required to be cleared to practice. We have not met our trainer yet today. I know they had treatment earlier this morning. They’ll have another round before practice and hopefully we’ll be able to get them back on the floor. But I really don’t have much at this time to add on those two.”

The Bulldogs (10-8, 4-2 SEC) desperately need Gaines. The 6-foot-3 sophomore is Georgia’s second-leading scorer (12.0 ppg) and has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, including a career high 22 vs. Alabama.

Parker, a freshman from Tulsa has been coming on both as an offense and defensive force this month. Without either player the Bulldogs don’t have a true two-guard and are forced to severely alter the lineup. Against Kentucky they went with four forwards most of the game and lost by 25.

“Having that guard (Gaines) out really put them in a tough spot,” Kentucky coach John Calipari observed. “That shows you what a great coach Mark is. He kept them in the game with that guy not in there. He played a lineup he’s never played at Georgia. He had like four centers on the court at one time. And they had a chance.”

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