GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In the past two years, Casey Prather struggled just to get on the court.
Now, he can’t stay on it.
Prather, the junior forward who figures to play a key role for the Gators basketball team this season, suffered his second concussion in nine days Monday when he took a blow to the back of the head during practice mere hours after being cleared to return from a concussion incurred in a scrimmage Oct. 27.
The 6-foot-6 swingman will not play Friday night when the 10th-ranked Gators open the 2012-13 season against Georgetown in the Navy/Marine Corps Classic on the USS Bataan at Naval Station Mayport.
“There are some baseline tests he has to pass," UF coach Billy Donovan said before practice Tuesday. "They don't think it's as bad as the one before."
Prather, from Jackson, Tenn., averaged just two points and 1.8 rebounds in barely seven minutes per game last season, but his playing time increased in the postseason, as did his productivity. Case in point: the highlight-reel dunk vs. Kentucky's Kyle Wiltjer in the SEC Tournament (right)
A week later, Prather had a breakout moment in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament, scoring 14 points and grabbing four boards in a 71-45 win over Virginia.
During preseason practices, Donovan had praised Prather for his defense and rebounding. His athleticism, particularly on the glass and in transition, was going to be key against a team with the size and length of the Hoyas.