South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin said injured guard PJ Dozier is “past pain” with the back spasms that kept him out of Saturday night’s game at Kentucky.
Now, the sophomore guard is battling the soreness that remains, and Martin is hopeful Dozier will be ready to play Tuesday night against Auburn.
“We are going to try and do some stuff today to see how he reacts,” Martin said. “He has been nonstop treatment the past 48 hours. The goal is to get him on the court (Tuesday) night.”
Dozier, the Gamecocks’ second-leading scorer, came down awkwardly after a layup late in Friday’s practice in Columbia. He began to experience back spasms on the flight to Kentucky later that day. He went through treatment throughout the night and day leading up to South Carolina’s 85-69 loss to No. 5 Kentucky, but could not play.
Dozier did not practice Sunday after South Carolina got back to Columbia, as the Gamecocks are taking it easy in bringing him back. He will practice Monday.
“We want that to quiet down for the game (Tuesday),” Martin said. “(Monday) is going to be the first time. … We weren’t trying to rush him back. He has been basically with Mark Rodger, our trainer, getting treated. … The target is still 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night.”
Freshman guard Rakym Felder made his first career start in Dozier’s absence. He had 3 points on 1 of 6 shooting in 19 minutes.
Dozier is averaging 14.6 points per game and shooting 39.4 percent from 3-point range.