Robbie Andreu @RobbieAndreu

Three of Florida’s nine injured starters — defensive end Cece Jefferson (foot), offensive tackle David Sharpe and guard/center Tyler Jordan (ankle) — have returned to practice and are expected to play in some capacity in Saturday’s game against LSU, UF coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday.

Their return is good news for injury-depleted Florida.

Jefferson’s return will help the Gators compensate for the loss of starting defensive end Bryan Cox Jr., who is out with an ankle injury, while Jordan could move back in at center, where he replaced starter Cam Dillard last week, but was injured on UF’s first offensive play against South Carolina.

“Cece is one of the team leaders, which is rare for a guy of that age. That’s pretty cool,” McElwain said on the SEC coaches’ teleconference. “He’s a guy that really wants to play and he’ll give everything he can to get out there. I do believe it is a lift, especially where Cox is. We need somebody to set the edge. He’ll definitely try to do that. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that.

“Tyler Jordan practiced. He’s doing everything he can. He did take some reps yesterday. He looked like he’s going to be available. At what level, I don’t know. He’s definitely going and will be in gear.

“He bounced around a little bit yesterday and got a little bit more today. I believe he can play a backup role.”

Sharpe went down in the first half of the South Carolina game with a injured ankle and did not return. He was in a walking boot after the game. In his absence, Martez Ivey moved from guard to left tackle and was named the SEC offensive lineman of the week for his performance.

“Sharpe took some reps

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