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March 1, 2007Florida State lost starting point guard Toney Douglas a little over three weeks ago against Clemson when he broke bones in his right hand.
On Thursday, some players were talking as though they were going to get their second-leading scorer back for their regular season finale at Miami. According to Douglas however, nothing is for certain right now.
"I don't know if I am going to play," Douglas said. "I guess it is going to be a game time thing depending on how I feel on Saturday."
Head Coach Leonard Hamilton was a little less optimistic than his point guard, who has returned to participating in some parts of practice, about Douglas being able to make it back in time for Saturday's noon tip-off against the Hurricanes.
"I've had enough of these injuries that you are sometimes better off playing somebody with confidence," Hamilton said. "I've never had someone not have the use of their hand for two and a half weeks. I don't know if it's possible for him to get ready in two and a half days."
Hamilton, who admits this is the first time he can recall having a player suffer such an injury, said that the optimism he had a few days ago following Douglas's involvement in portions of practice was brought back into reality the next day when Douglas was apparently sore.
"About five or six days ago, I was encouraged because he was so excited," Hamilton said. "But the next day he was so sore."
The soreness isn't specific to the broken bones suffered by Douglas, but instead the lack of using the hand for the past three weeks.
"The injury to the bone is healing," Hamilton said. "It's the ligaments and tendons that are so sore. Then from the lack of use, the flexibility and all of that comes into play. You have so many little ligaments and tendons involved."
While he initially experienced soreness after returning to practice, Douglas has increased his role in practice more with each passing day. Yesterday marked the first time in Douglas had taken a jumpshot since suffering the injury.
"He took part in some non-contact drills," Hamilton said. "Yesterday was the first time he took a jumpshot in almost two weeks. I think his legs are good. He can run around. And we've got him in some "catching" drills. But in terms of contact, live stuff, we've got to be careful with that."
Douglas said that he is looking forward to getting back to the court to help his teammates pursue a bid to the NCAA Tournament but that the final decision will likely come on Saturday morning.
"I wont' really know until Saturday how I will feel but I will get treatment while I am down in Miami," Douglas said. "I have been real excited. Every day I am doing a little something better than I was the day before so that is progress. I am just going to keep making progress and see what happens."
As for the 'Noles, they are preparing for Miami as though they will be playing without their starting point guard.
"We're moving on," Hamilton said. "If he's able to play, great. We're moving on like we're not going to have him."
The Osceola's Jim Lamar contributed to this story.
Florida State NEWS