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Justin Minaya had surgery, whats next?

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Justin Minaya had surgery, whats next?

Feb. 06, 2020

Justin Minaya missed Wednesday’s loss to Ole Miss. He’s not going to be around for any South Carolina games in the near future, either. Coach Frank Martin said following the 84-70 downer to the Rebels that Minaya is scheduled for surgery on his left thumb at 10 a.m. Thursday. Results from that procedure will dictate how long the Gamecocks (13-9, 5-4 SEC) will be without their starting swingman.

 Martin said commits on the injury. “We’ll have a better idea of the length (of absence) once they go in there and they see the extent of the damage. The MRIs and all that confirmed that he did need surgery. “There’s a chance that he could play again. It probably won’t be until March. But I don’t have that answer for you until the doctors do what they have to do [Thursday] morning.”

Minaya, who’s started 56 of his 58 games at South Carolina, took a medical redshirt last year because of a knee injury in November. The 6-foot-5 sophomore was rounding back in good form this season — see nine points, seven rebounds, two assists a game in SEC play until he collided with Mizzou’s Tray Jackson on Saturday while going after an offensive rebound. He exited the game with 32.6 seconds left in the first half, but returned for 13 second half minutes with his thumb taped. The injury, however, was a serious one.

South Carolina has seven games left in February before closing the regular season March 3 at home against Mississippi State and March 7 at Vanderbilt. The SEC Tournament begins March 11 in Nashville. Without the versatile Minaya on Wednesday, the Gamecocks lost for the first time in four games and allowed their season-high for points.

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As the Ole Miss game proved, replacing Minaya won't be easy.   But a bigger problem in that game was poor guard play.   On both ends.  

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