Guard has abscess, likely from spider bite, removed

Updated: February 13, 2004, 6:05 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Something was bugging South Carolina's Michael Boynton Jr. this week. Turns out, it might have been a spider.

Gamecocks coach Dave Odom says Boynton, his senior point guard, had an abscess surgically removed from his right calf following South Carolina's (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today; No. 25 AP) 79-75 overtime loss to No. 6 Mississippi State.

"He was bitten, we think, by a spider," Odom said Friday.

The bite took place Tuesday night and the calf swelled. But any procedures Wednesday would have left Boynton unavailable to play against the Bulldogs, Odom said.

Boynton played 39 minutes, but did not have one of his best games with just four points. His only field goal in five attempts came in overtime and gave the Gamecocks their last lead at 75-73.

Boynton did not practice Thursday. However, Odom and Boynton both expected he would make the lineup Saturday night against Vanderbilt.

"I'm OK," Boynton said Friday. "I'll be ready by 7:30."

Boynton had the calf wrapped tightly in a beige, cloth bandage as he walked to receive treatment. He says he didn't remember getting bit, only that the area began to swell.

"This type of invasion, you can recover pretty quick from it," Odom said he was told by medical personnel. "They don't think he'll miss the game tomorrow night, but anything can happen."

Boynton has been one of the big reasons for South Carolina's surprising 19-5 recordso far. He's averaging 9.2 points a game, and is third in the Southeastern Conference for 3-point shooting percentage.

Boynton has started 21 of the past 22 games. He didn't start at Temple on Dec. 15 was because he took part in graduation ceremonies on campus that afternoon, then flew to Philadelphia to join his teammates. Boynton arrived just before tip-off and scored 16 points off the bench.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press