Lady Vols coach 'hopeful' DeShields will play Thursday

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee coach Holly Warlick says she's ''hopeful'' that Diamond DeShields will be able to play Thursday against Florida, a week after the junior guard left the court on a stretcher.

DeShields participated in a portion of the Tennessee practice sessions that were open to the media Wednesday. She missed Tennessee's 59-46 victory over Arkansas on Sunday.

Warlick said Wednesday that ''I think she'll play, but we've got to go with what (the doctors) say.''

DeShields' head collided with the body of an Alabama player Feb. 16, causing her to be removed from the court on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.

DeShields is averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals for Tennessee (17-10, 8-6 SEC). The 6-foot-1 guard ranks third in the SEC in scoring.

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