Rosario Doubtful for Rutgers Return

Mike Rosario’s return to the RAC Thursday may not turn out the way he had hoped.

“He’s still questionable,” a family source told Tuesday, referring to Rosario’s back issues. “He wants to play, but I don’t think he’s going to play.”

The 6-foot-3 Rosario, averaging 9.4 points off the bench, has not played since a Dec. 17 win over Texas A&M because of what the Orlando Sentinel termed a “strained back.” The source said Rosario may have a herniated disc in his back.

“I’m concerned from the standpoint that he’s going home and he’s not going to have any rehab for Christmas,” Florida coach Billy Donovan told the Orlando Sentinel before the holiday.

“Right now, I would say he’s probably doubtful for Rutgers. That would be my guess just because he’s not gonna be around the medical staff and be able to do treatment and rehab and the things he needs to do. We’re gonna come back and practice on the 26th. We’ll see how he is, but I would be shocked if he plays right now, with the way it is, against Rutgers.”

After leading Bob Hurley’s St. Anthony Friars to an undefeated season in 2007-08, Rosario was the first McDonald’s All-American to land at Rutgers.

But then-coach Fred Hill pretty much let Rosario do whatever he wanted, and shoot whenever he wanted, and the situation soon unraveled. By the spring of 2010, both men were gone.

“I think when he was at Rutgers he was ‘the man,’” Donovan told in July. “He took a lot of shots. Everything ran through him. And I also think going through that, he even realized that he needs more help.

“And I think coming out of St. Anthony, I think he really started to evaluate how important winning is to him.”

Photo: Orlando Sentinel

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