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UGA hoops star Thompkins turns ankle, out for at least season opener

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATHENS -- Georgia star forward Trey Thompkins will likely miss the Nov. 12 season opener, and perhaps a much longer period, because of a severely sprained right ankle.

Thompkins was hurt during a closed scrimmage last weekend as he chased a loose ball.

Coach Mark Fox says Thompkins will definitely miss Thursday's exhibition game against Augusta State and likely the opener against Mississippi Valley State. In fact, the 6-foot-10 junior could be out for up to a month, a tough blow for a program on the rise.

"It's a pretty severe sprain," Fox said. "I'd say the chances of him playing in the opener are slim. Trey's got a very bright future, and we won't bring him back until his body is ready."

Thompkins was an All-Southeastern Conference pick last season, ranking second in scoring (17.7) and four in rebounding (8.3) on a Georgia team that was much more competitive than anyone had expected in Fox's season.

This season, he was expected to team with Travis Leslie and newcomer Marcus Thornton to give the Bulldogs hope of their best season since an academic scandal in 2003 cost coach Jim Harrick his job and sent the program into a severe tailspin.

"Injuries are part of the game," Fox said. "We will rally the troops and keep them together."

The Bulldogs have already staged a few controlled scrimmages against themselves, as well as a joint practice with Clemson last week.

"I think we're all excited about playing somebody else, about putting on the uniform and getting back into game-type situations," Fox said. "We've worked hard these past three weeks and are anxious to play a game."

Fox also announced the addition of walk-on Elliott Long. Long, a 6-4 freshman wing from Atlanta, was a starting forward last season for Greater Atlanta Christian School, which won the Georgia AA state championship.