Jason Jitoboh out for the season after eye surgery

GAINESVILLE, Florida — Central Florida Jason Jitoboh is out for the season after an injury eliminated him from Wednesday’s 78-71 loss to Tennessee.

Jitoboh left the game with the help of a team coach with about two and a half minutes left in the first half after shooting in the left eye for an offensive rebound. In obvious pain, Jitoboh was escorted off the field and did not return.

He underwent surgery on Friday to repair the damage, which the coach Mike White qualified as important.

“Going for a comeback, it was an offensive rebound opportunity and he put a hand or a finger in the area,” White said.

“Even if I knew the details, first of all, I would probably confuse them. It’s important, I know that. It required surgery. He’s currently either in surgery or coming out of an operation. suffered at 1 a.m. today. There are one or more issues that have been brought to my attention.”

Jitoboh was in the middle of the best basketball streak of his career, taking advantage of the opportunity left to him by an injury at the starting center Colin Castleton (left shoulder).

He had averaged 9.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in the three games leading up to Wednesday’s showdown in Knoxville, Tennessee, contributing far more for Florida in the frontcourt than he had in years. previous ones. He had worked hard to get into this position, focusing heavily on losing weight to improve his conditioning.

“I would ask anyone out there to keep him in your thoughts and prayers,” White said. “It’s important. You wouldn’t want that for anyone. He’s a wonderful young man and it’s just a really tough scenario for him.”

A 6-foot-11, 305-pound junior, Jitoboh was one of the few true post presences Florida could rely on. His absence will make things difficult for the Gators, who are fighting for their NCAA tournament chances at this point.

On the year, Jitoboh averaged 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, while averaging 10.7 minutes per game.

Jason Jitoboh makes perfect sense, he’s 6 of 6 a point at Ole Miss, if I’m not mistaken,” White said. “Getting off to a great start in Knoxville, really dominating the paint, setting big screens. He’s in surgery as we speak. He ended the season with an eye injury. I mean you can’t make up for the adversity that these guys have gone through and will continue to have to go through.”

Florida returns to action Saturday with a 4 p.m. ET tip at home against Oklahoma State.

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