The junior forward, who led the team in scoring last year, sprained his ankle in practice Saturday. Thompkins will miss at least a week, but could miss as much as a month, according coach Mark Fox.
Thompkins return depends on how his ankle responds to treatment, Fox said.
“I’ve asked them to treat him as much as they can treat him, and try and get that swelling out of there first,” Fox said. “He’s had an MRI, he’s had x-rays; then treat him as aggressively as we can, and then re-evaluate it in a week or 10 days and see how much progress he’s made.”
Georgia hosts Augusta State Thursday night in exhibition play to begin the 2010-11 season. The Bulldogs are on the cusp on breaking into the AP Top 25, ranked 28th according to voters last week.
“Even though we don’t have him we’re still going to play the same,” said junior Travis Leslie. “We’re going to play like he’s out there and look forward to him getting back.”
Thompkins, voted as the pre-season SEC Player of the Year, and Leslie, named All-SEC First Team, created a one-two punch for the Bulldogs. Now, with Thompkins sidelined, the team’s other pieces will get a chance to showcase what they can do.
“It gives a chance for anybody to step up,” freshman forward Marcus Thornton said. “We’ve gotten a lot of good leadership from guys, which is going to help. As long as we have that we’ll stay together and keep playing. We’ll keep moving on and Trey will be back soon, which is great.”
Seniors Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes are expected to get the start in the post for the Bulldogs, but Fox says he has options and multiple lineups to play with.
“I think the one thing we’ll lean on this week for sure is our experience and I would say that with (Jeremy Price) and Chris Barnes up front, they both played both spots up front and they have some comfort up there,” Fox said. “But I think we’ll eventually have some diversity in our lineup. We’ll be able to play a little smaller, a little more athletic and ultimately we’ll be able to play a little bigger if we can get Travis (Leslie) at the two. I think that we felt this team had some versatility in its roster, and with his injury we’re going to have to use that.”