Florida coach ruptures Achilles' tendon

Oct 26, 2009 - 11:03 PM GAINESVILLE, Fla.(AP) -- Florida's Amanda Butler will spend part of this season coaching on crutches.

Butler, who led the Gators to the NCAA tournament last season in her third season, ruptured her left Achilles' tendon playing flag football Saturday. She had surgery Monday.

Butler, a four-year starter at Florida between 1990 and 1994, was the first woman in college basketball to play wearing a clear, protective face mask. She donned the mask in February 1993 following a badly broken nose, so assistant coach Susie Gardner said pacing the sideline in a protective boot and on crutches won't be too much of a distraction for Butler.

It could be awkward, though.

"She really needs to work on her ability to move on crutches," Gardner said. "She needs some coaching there, because she's not very mobile. Her voice is still strong. She is still the dominating voice in the gym. She can do that sitting or standing or lying down, whatever she's going to be doing."

Gardner joked that Butler's biggest challenge might be finding a way for the boot to match her wardrobe.

"She's going to have to figure out which pretty right shoe to wear because her left foot is going to be in a boot, and I think that will distract her from her wardrobe," Gardner said. "That's very, very important to her."

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