Florida’s NCAA tourney chances hampered even further by big injury

Without Egbunu, Florida is not nearly as stable down low. (USATSI)

The Florida Gators have lost four of their last five games and are in big need of a solid run in the SEC Tournament to land a bid to the Big Dance.

And now that road is looking even tougher.

The latest from SportsLine

UF coach Mike White said on Wednesday that the Gators’ muscular man in the middle, center John Egbunu, injured his right thumb on Tuesday. As he’s torn a ligament, he’s questionable to play in the Gators’ second-round game against Arkansas on Thursday night — and possibly beyond that.

“Realistically, I don’t know how much he’ll be able to go,” White said in a school release.

Egbunu averages 11.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Kevarrius Hayes and Schuyler Rimmer will almost certainly see more time on the floor with him sidelined.

The Gators (18-13) would likely need to beat the Razorbacks and then earn an upset over top-seeded Texas A&M in the next round to boost their resume enough for an NCAA Tournament berth.

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