Florida center Micah Handlogten to sit out next season while recovering from a broken left leg

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida center Micah Handlogten, who gruesomely broke his left leg in the Southeastern Conference championship game last month, is planning to take a medical redshirt next season and work toward returning to the court and becoming “an absolute monster” in the fall of 2025.

Coach Todd Golden said the decision, which he and Handlogten made during a recent conversation, gives the 7-foot-1 sophomore time to make a full recovery.

“Now he can just pour all his efforts into his rehab and not feel the pressure of ‘I need to try to get back on the court by November,'” Golden said Friday. "My hope is now — obviously not next year but the year after — he should be an absolute monster as he comes back fully healthy with a lot of confidence on the leg.

"His recovery is going as well as it could. His mentality has been amazing. I’m really proud of him and the way he’s gone about it, so he’ll be back.”

Handlogten landed awkwardly on his left foot while going for a rebound against Auburn. He immediately fell to the court in pain and rolled onto his side, putting his hands to his face. Handlogten’s parents were escorted onto the court to be by his side. Handlogten’s leg was stabilized in an air cast before he was placed on a backboard and taken off the court on a stretcher.

He had a rod and two screws inserted into his leg at nearby Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but he still managed to rejoin the team for the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis a few days later. The Gators lost to Colorado in the opening round with Handlogten watching from behind the bench.

Handlogten started 32 games this season and averaged 5.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. He led the team with 108 offensive rebounds and ranked third with 29 blocks.

Golden signed Washington State center Rueben Chinyelu and Chattanooga forward Sam Alexis out of the NCAA transfer portal in hopes of helping fill holes left by Tyrese Samuel’s graduation and Handlogten’s injury.

“He’s doing great,” Golden said. “Just talking to him, it would be best for him to know that he doesn’t feel pressured to get back quick, which we didn’t want him to feel anyway. So, when we had that conversation, it was great. It provided clarity to him.”


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