ATHENS — While an official prognosis isn’t known yet, Georgia head coach Mark Fox used a couple dreaded words when asked about Yante Maten’s knee injury Saturday night: Serious and significant.
“Obviously it’s a serious injury. How serious we do not know,” Fox said. “But it would’ve been nice to have him.”
Fox was asked later about Maten’s availability for Georgia’s next game, Thursday at Alabama.
“I really don’t know,” Fox said. “I’ll tell you this, he’s as good a kid as I’ve ever coached. Our deal is we tell their parents we’ll treat them as if they’re our kids. And if there’s any risk he won’t play.
Obviously it’s a significant injury. But we won’t know until we get the images what it is. Until we do, we’ll just pray for him.”
Maten went down with a right knee injury just 95 seconds into Saturday’s game against No. 13 Kentucky. He did not return, though he was able to watch the game from the bench, standing and sitting on his own. He was also walking around during halftime warm-ups, albeit very gingerly.
A junior forward, Maten entered the game as Georgia’s leader in points (19.4 per game) and rebounds (7.4 per game), and was among the SEC leaders in both.
Without him, Georgia still gave Kentucky it all, leading by two with 55 seconds left, before falling by five.
“Listen, without Maten, that’s what kind of coach Mark Fox is,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
Sophomore Mike Edwards, who started the second half and basically got Maten’s minutes, finished with 10 points, including the first seven of the second half.
But Georgia suffered badly on the glass without Maten, as Kentucky won the rebounding margin, 41-26.