Gophers junior center Reggie Lynch will miss Friday's game against Southern Illinois with an ankle injury, team announced.

Lynch, a 6-foot-10 Edina native, is averaging 9.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game this season. He started the first five games for Minnesota, including in Tuesday's 85-71 win against Arkansas.

The Gophers will start 6-9 freshman Eric Curry at center. Curry is averaging 8.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 23.6 minutes this season.

Minnesota needs Lynch healthy for Monday's ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup against No. 25 Florida State. The Seminoles, who defeated Illinois on Friday, are the second tallest team in the nation. 

This isn't the first time Lynch has dealt with injury issues since transferring from Illinois State last year. He had rotator cuff surgery in February and missed several months of practice. He also suffered a slightly torn meniscus in September and was sidelined for a month.

Lynch hurt his ankle in the first half Tuesday against Arkansas. He finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 21 minutes before sitting the rest of the game.

Gophers coach Richard Pitino said Lynch was the biggest reason why his team made huge strides defensively from last season. Minnesota leads the Big Ten with seven blocks per game. Lynch came a few blocks away from tying legend Mychal Thompson's school record with nine swats against St. John's.