Frink will miss rest of season, McCreary returns to practice

Frink will miss rest of season, McCreary returns to practice
South Carolina forward Alanzo Frink (20) shoots over Vanderbilt during second-half action in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA) (Source: Travis Bell)

COLUMBIA, S.C. ( - South Carolina announced junior forward Alanzo Frink will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season due to medical reasons.

Frink has played in three games for the Gamecocks this season, last appearing on the road against Houston on Dec. 5. He averaged 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game.

“He’s in great spirits. He’s around us every day,” head coach Frank Martin said on a Zoom call shortly after the news broke. “He’s very thankful, as I am, that we have medical staff and a trainer in Mark Rodger that are very careful and very cautious and very protective of all of our guys’ health. He’s in really, really good spirits because of the care this university provides. He’s put on a ball cap like me and is out there spending a lot of time with (newcomer) Tre-Vaughn Minott, teaching him.”

Martin would not get into the specifics of what will keep Frink out for the rest of the season but noted he will be okay in the long run and did not indicate this is not believed to be a career-ending condition.

“Everything is so raw right now that him and his family are going to keep things private right now,” Martin said. “I know what they are comfortable with me sharing is he doesn’t want to make this about him, a feel sorry soap opera. At the same time, he wants to make sure other people out there that are going through this, make sure you are getting checked out. This is real and not something to play with. It’s not your common cold that you get through it and you’re good to go. There are a lot of details and boxes that need to be checked.”

While the Frink news hurts the depth of the 2020-21 team, Martin provided good news in that sophomore forward Jalyn McCreary has been cleared to return to the practice court after missing the last three games due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“Jalyn practiced yesterday and seemed okay,” Martin said. “The expectation is for him to practice today and play tomorrow. He’s cleared all of the required medical exams and things of that nature when you’re coming back from being shutdown. I don’t know how productive he can be. He’s practice three times since December 7th. It’s hard to ask somebody that has been in a competitive practice three times in eight weeks to be successful as a player when you’re trying to figure out the conditioning part of it against a high-level opponent in the SEC.”

The Gamecocks (3-5, 1-3) will host Georgia on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

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