Injuries adding up as No. 11 Georgia prepares for opener
Posted: Wednesday August 20, 2003 10:16PM; Updated: Wednesday August 20, 2003 10:23PM
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Georgia defensive end Will Thompson, who had two sacks in the Sugar Bowl, is out for the season after undergoing surgery for a dislocated left ankle Wednesday.
Thompson, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior, was hurt Tuesday in practice when he tried to cut back during a running play.
Initially, it was thought that he would miss only four to six weeks. However, doctors found a broken fibula and ligament damage, requiring him to undergo surgery. Thompson will need four to six months to recover.
"He's a great example of how we want everyone to play," coach Mark Richt said. "Anytime you lose a guy like Will, you lose depth and a tremendous amount of experience and production."
Thompson, who had 59 tackles and six sacks last season, is expected to make a full recovery and probably will be granted a medical redshirt, giving him two more years of eligibility.
The No. 11 Bulldogs, who open the season Aug. 30 at Clemson, likely lost another player to a season-ending injury in Wednesday's practice. Receiver Cedric Haywood, a redshirt freshman who was vying for time at receiver and as a kick returner, apparently tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a kickoff drill.
The loss of Haywood hurts a position that already will be short-handed for the season opener. Mario Raley and Bryan McClendon were suspended for the first two games after being caught with marijuana in a campus dorm room.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are all banged up, too. Thompson is the third starter to go down in practice, joining safety Kentrell Curry (stress fracture in right leg) and tackle Ken Veal (ankle).
Curry could miss the first three games, while Veal is unlikely to play in the opener.