Billy's Back

By Jeff Lippman - October 24, 2007

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- And I don't mean back in Gainesville after deciding not to coach the Orlando Magic.

No, I'm referring to the fact that since his days as a player at Providence when he suffered two fractures in his back, Florida coach Billy Donovan has struggled with back issues.

And right now, it is as bad as it has ever been. So much so that it is affecting the way he coaches in practice. And with a team that returns just Walter Hodge who had any sort of consistent PT last year, now is not a good time for Donovan to be out with an injury.

"I threw my back out, I don't know what I did, I'm trying to figure that out," Donovan said. "I just know I haven't been able to get out of bed for two days.

"And I was told I needed to be here today."

Donovan flew to Birmingham from Gainesville this morning, a trip that certainly wasn't easy, or pleasent for the Gators skipper.

"I took a shot this morning and lied down, face down on the plane coming here," he said. "I've got some disk issues and some ligament damage, I've got a bunch of problems."

Donovan is meeting with a back surgeon on Tuesday and hopes that surgery is not needed as that would severely hinder the amount of time he spends with his team.

"I'm concerned because I haven't been able to walk,'' he said. "It takes me a while. The other day, I got out of bed and couldn't stand up and had to crawl to the bathroom. So that's kind of what I'm dealing with now."

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 01:18 PM on October 24, 2007

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