February 22, 2007
Panthers prepare for second game without Gray
The No. 10 Pitt men's basketball team (24-4, 11-2) appears likely to be facing a second straight game without its top scorer, as head coach Jamie Dixon was uncertain on Thursday about senior center Aaron Gray's status for the Panthers' Saturday contest at Georgetown.
"If I had to guess, going by what I saw, I don't think he'll be ready to go on Saturday," Dixon said. "But I've been wrong before, so we'll just have to see. That's where it's at right now, but unless in the next 48 hours there's some recovery, I wouldn't think there'd be a good chance, but we'll see."
Gray, who averages 14.5 points and 10 rebounds per game, missed Pitt's game at Seton Hall on Monday after spraining his left ankle in the waning minutes of a home game against Washington last Saturday. He has not practiced at all this week, spending his time working on rehabilitation exercises. On Thursday he shot free throws during practice, his first active work on the court since the injury, but Dixon was not encouraged.
"It's a bad turn of the ankle," Dixon said. "I think there was some hope and positive thinking for Monday but I didn't really think there was a chance. The way he went down and seeing the swelling in the ankle afterwards, I thought it would be a more serious ankle injury than he's had in the past.
"We've seen it a lot: oftentimes he's been playing with some hindrance, as far as the ankle from minor sprains. But this one looks to be a little more serious, and obviously it has been because it's been over a week now. There's more discoloring and swelling and it's lasted longer than it has in the past. It was a bad sprain.
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