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Alabama Basketball's Juwan Gary Day-to-Day with Facial Contusion

The Crimson Tide could be without the forward for Saturday's game against Missouri

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama basketball is likely to be out one of its top forwards on Saturday against Missouri.

Sophomore forward Juwan Gary left Wednesday's game against LSU in the first half after being hit in the face by the elbow of LSU forward Tari Eason. Gary did not return to the game, and was later revealed to have a facial contusion.

On Friday, Alabama head coach Nate Oats confirmed the diagnosis as well as issued his status.

“Juwan’s got a facial contusion," Oats said. "He’s still pretty puffy. He has not practiced. He’s day-to-day. I’m not sure he’ll be able to play against Missouri, but hopefully, we have him back here pretty soon.”

In 16 games so far this season, Gary has averaged 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Additionally, he has recorded five assists, 13 steals and nine blocks.

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One bright spot for Alabama over the past two games has been the return of senior forward James Rojas, who saw limited minutes against both Mississippi State and LSU after returning from a knee injury that he suffered in the offseason.

On Friday, Rojas spoke to the media for the first time this season.

“It was great to be back, man,” Rojas said. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I just wanted to get back and bring a lot of energy to the team. My knee’s been holding up. It’s good. It feels great, so just ready to finish out this season strong.”

With Gary expected to be out against Missouri, Rojas is expected to play a larger role at the forward position. In his two games on the court, the senior has averaged 3 points per game and has wrangled in three rebounds. He also has three steals.

“I’m just going to bring energy,” Rojas said. “I think that’s just all we lacked. We just didn’t have any energy, so just come in and play with energy and we’re going to be good.”

Alabama and Missouri tip off on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT (SEC Network).