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Volunteers forward John Fulkerson has been ruled out for the rest of the SEC tournament due to facial injuries he sustained during Tennessee’s Friday 78-66 win over Florida.
Gators forward Omar Payne was ejected from the SEC Tournament quarterfinals game against the Volunteers for a flagrant two foul after hitting Fulkerson in the head with his elbow.
Fulkerson has been diagnosed with a concussion and a facial fracture, according to Grant Ramey of 247Sports.
Fulkerson said Payne personally reached out to him Saturday morning to apologize and said he “was very remorseful.”
The senior forward tweeted that Saturday’s focus should be on the game as No. 1 seed Alabama and No. 4 seed Tennessee matchup.
Payne also tweeted Saturday, stating he is sorry and “deeply regret[s] the incident.”
“I have nothing but respect for John and Tennessee program,” Payne said. “Especially for their support of my brother Keyontae this season. I wish them the best on their NCAA tournament run.”
In Tennessee’s regular-season finale against Florida, Fulkerson scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
In a video posted to the team’s Twitter after the game, Fulkerson said he was proud of his teammates on the win and thanked everyone for the love and support.
“I’m doing good,” he said. “I’m not sure my status of tomorrow, but I know Tennessee is going to come ready to play.”
Fulkerson was ruled out for the remainder of the SEC Tournament Saturday morning after suffering facial injuries during Friday’s game.
Tennessee (17–7) received byes for the first two rounds of the tournament.
The Volunteers will play Alabama in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament on Saturday, and the winner will move on to the finals on Sunday at noon.