Florida coach Will Muschamp is holding out hope that junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins returns for next week's LSU game after fracturing his thumb against Texas A&M on Sept. 8.
Muschamp said during Wednesday's SEC coaches call that Jenkins will see a specialist on Friday to have the pin removed from his thumb. He'll then be fitted with a cast and further evaluated to see if he'll be healthy enough to play against the Tigers.
"We feel pretty optimistic about him [playing]," Muschamp said.
"Right now, we feel he should be able to go, but, again, you never know until the guy looks at it."
It helps that Florida has a bye this week, so that will give him more time to heal.
If Jenkins were to play against LSU, he'd have to wear a cast on his hand to protect his thumb, Muschamp said. From there, it's all about how much pain Jenkins can take.
Mushcamp said Jenkins was "pretty limited to nothing" during the first week after his injury, but has been running and lifting as much as he can with a cast on since.
But how well things will go once Jenkins gets back on the field is a mystery. Muschamp said he wasn't sure how big Jenkins' cast would be and how much it would affect him in a game. He spoke with head athletic trainer Anthony Pass about about whether he thought Jenkins could play next week, but even he didn't know.
"I'm a little in the dark on all this until he meets with the specialist on Friday," Muschamp said.
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