TAMPA, Fla. – Niels Giffey made the trip with his teammates, but he will be limited to cheering when the Huskies play at South Florida on Wednesday night. His broken right index finger will not require surgery, but he will not be able to play in UConn’s last two games.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “There is no way I could get back in that time, so we will just start the process, see different doctors.”
Giffey said he has looked at video of the play in Cincinnati during which he dislocated and fractured the finger.
“I have looked at it three or four times,” he said, “and to be honest, I still don’t know what happened. It was a play we had a turnover, I deflected the ball, I might have hit the other guy’s hand. If you saw it, the finger was kind of poking out sideways, it was scary.”
There is no timetable for Giffey’s recovery, but he hopes he will be able to play in Germany this summer as planned.
“Hopefully he will recover real soon,” Kevin Ollie said, “and get back to his German national team and have a productive summer and be ready for us next year.”
Said Giffey, “I’m not whining about it. I’m happy it happened at this point of the season when we’ve got only two games left. We have a great season behind us.”
Kevin Ollie, with his injury-depleted roster, gave the Huskies two days off. They practiced at 8 a.m. Tuesday, before leaving Connecticut for Tampa. “I don’t have that many guys,” he said. “I’m going to go with what I’ve got. This has been a wonderful group to coach all year.”
The Huskies have a noontime shoot-around on Wednesday, with the game at 9 p.m.
Shabazz Napier, still in the walking boot on his right foot, did not practice Tuesday. “It’s responding to the treatment,” Ollie said, “but the foot is still a little tender. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing.” It will be a game-time decision, as it was at Cincinnati. But if I had to guess right now, I’d guess Napier will not play. I didn’t sense much optimism.
Omar Calhoun said the two days off helped his sprained right wrist and it’s feeling better.
South Florida won its last game, 83-73, against DePaul and scored an unusual amount of points for them. Ollie is concerned about containing point guard Anthony Collins’ activity in the lane, which makes the Bulls’ offense go.
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