USC Men's Basketball

Frank Martin injury update: Bryant could be out for UGA, Minaya could be out for year

South Carolina’s small forward position is not in ideal shape heading into Saturday’s game at Georgia.

Keyshawn Bryant, who has replaced Justin Minaya at that spot since late November, didn’t practice Thursday and it’s to be determined as to whether he’s a go against the Bulldogs in Athens, USC coach Frank Martin said during his Carolina Calls radio show.

The freshman hyper-extended his knee prior to the Tennessee game, but still played in the loss to the No. 1 Volunteers.

“He obviously was physically cleared by doctors and everybody (for Tennessee),” Martin said on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network. “If not, he would not have played. He didn’t play well. And then yesterday we were off. And then he came in today and said his knee was really bothering him and he did not practice.

“We’ll see where that goes between tonight and Saturday, when we play.”

The Gamecocks (10-10, 5-2 SEC) tip with the Bulldogs (10-10, 1-6) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Minaya’s missed the last 15 games with a knee injury. He won’t be back Saturday. Will he be back at all this season?

“The longer Justin is unable to fully engage in practice,” Martin said Thursday, “the less the likelihood that he’ll play this year. It’s February. We’re not sure yet with Justin. I can’t give you an answer there.”

Minaya, a sophomore, is eligible for a medical redshirt should he not play in another game this season. He did participate lightly in Thursday’s practice, Martin said.

“I’d love to tell you that Justin’s real close to getting back on the court,” Martin said. “He did some stuff today. He actually got in there and missed a point-blank layup and everyone started laughing because it’s the first time he takes a shot in any kind of practice situation in a while.

“He’ll be OK.”

Minaya is averaging 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds a game this season. Bryant is at 9.1 and 3.5. Tuesday marked his first scoreless game of his career.

Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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