NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Georgia star Yante Maten looks ready to play, and he and his coach both believe he will play in the SEC tournament.
“Barrina any setback, we hope to have him play,” head coach Mark Fox said after Wednesday’s practice, which was open to the media.
Maten, who has missed the past four games with a sprained knee, said the pain was now “miniscule,” and “discomfort” more than anything. He said he didn’t know how many minutes he would play.
“I just know that like when I was healthy I’m going to do my best to help my team, any way possible,” Maten said.
A junior forward, Maten has missed the past four games after spraining his knee 95 seconds into the team’s loss to Kentucky. Georgia went 3-1 without him, but was routed in the regular season finale at Arkansas.
At Wednesday’s practice, Maten was doing everything, though since it was a public viewing it was far from a full-fledged practice. He was wearing a brace on his right knee, but was cutting and moving without any obvious pain.
When the team went through a half-court offensive drill, Maten wasn’t in the starting five: That was the same starting five as the previous few games, with Derek Ogbeide at center and E’Torrion Wilridge at power forward. (Turtle Jackson at the point guard, J.J. Frazier and Juwan Parker rounding out the lineup.)
But Maten was with the next group that went in.
“When you’re playing well and it’s taken from you, you want to get back to where you were,” Maten said. “You know, not everything in life you can control. You’ve got to do your best to get back to not just where you were, but better than you were.”
Georgia (18-13) plays Tennessee (16-15) on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. The winner gets top-seeded Kentucky.
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