Originally created 12/13/01

Injury forces Kitchings out



South Carolina center Tony Kitchings could miss his next two games after suffering his second concussion in a week, coach Dave Odom said Wednesday.

Kitchings, a former South Aiken star, will be held out of practice this week and will be re-evaluated Monday, but Odom said there's a good chance he will hold Kitchings out of the Gamecocks' next two games.

South Carolina plays host to South Carolina State on Tuesday and The Citadel on Dec. 20.

"After talking with our medical staff, they felt that it would be best for us to act on the side of caution," Odom said. "We want to give Tony as much time as he needs to recover completely, especially in light of the impending start of SEC play in January."

Kitchings, a redshirt junior, suffered a grade-two concussion late in Saturday's 81-59 win at Clemson. He was taken to Oconee Memorial Hospital, where doctors performed a CT scan and released him.

The first concussion came seven days earlier during South Carolina's 66-58 win over Colorado State. Kitchings was in street clothes two days later during a 67-48 win over Providence.

Kitchings is averaging 7.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10, 260-pounder has also drawn a team-high nine charging fouls - four fewer than his team-high total of 13 last season.

The Gamecocks (6-3) are in the middle of a nine-day break for exams. After The Citadel, they'll take eight days off for Christmas before playing host to Charleston Southern (Dec. 28) and Mercer (Dec. 30). Conference play begins Jan. 5 at Florida.

Reach Larry Williams at (706) 823-3645.