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UF’s Powell Out 4-6 Months With Torn ACL

Bad news from Gainesville today where it’s been confirmed that starting linebacker Ronald Powell will be out for four to six months with a torn ACL.  Powell — a junior — injured his knee during the Gators’ spring game on Saturday.

He will not undergo surgery until swelling around the knee goes down.  If the injury and surgery require six months of recovery, Powell could miss the early portion of Florida’s season.  His backup at the “buck” linebacker position is Lerentee McCray, but McCray was held out of spring practice with a shoulder injury.

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Good News, Bad News For Mizzou Football

Missouri football fans got good news and bad news this morning.

The good news: Tiger coach Gary Pinkel says the surgery on quarterback James Franklin’s surgery was “a very good repair” and that he’s optimistic about his player’s recovery.

“He’s a pretty special guy; he’ll heal quick.  He works tremendously had in the training room.  And so much of it is having a great attitude.”

Franklin is expected to miss the remainder of spring practice and then be ready to return in the fall.  But Pinkel did caution: “We’re expecting that he won’t (miss time), but to say that that can’t happen, I can’t say that.”

The junior — thrown into the fire unexpectedly last year — led Mizzou as much with his legs as he did his arm in Pinkel’s usually pass-first system.  He accounted for 2,865 yards passing (63.3%) with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.  He also rushed for 981 yards and 15 more TDs on 217 carries.

The bad news: Tailback Henry Josey still hasn’t had surgery to repair a torn ACL.  Josey suffered “a one-in-a-million” terrible knee injury against Texas last November.  He underwent a five-hour procedure at the time to repair a patellar tendon rupture, a torn meniscus and a torn MCL.

Pinkel said that Josey should be ready to have the ACL repaired “in the next two or three weeks” but he wouldn’t say whether or not his tailback will play at all this fall.

In 10 games last season Josey rushed for 1,168 yards and 9 touchdowns.

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RB Taylor Signs With UK, Not Bama

Atlanta running back Justin Taylor has inked scholarship papers with the Kentucky Wildcats.  Taylor made national news recently when Alabama’s Nick Saban told him that the school would no longer have room for him as an immediate signee, despite the fact that Bama had held Taylor’s commitment for nearly a year.

Taylor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution two weeks ago that Saban wanted him to grayshirt and become a part of the Tide’s 2013 class.  Taylor waffled back and forth before deciding to take the bird in hand UK was offering.

Taylor is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last September.

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AU’s Bell Working To Rehab Truly Messed Up Knee

Auburn’s T’Sharvan Bell has a long, hard road back to the playing field.  The defensive back injured his left knee in the Tigers’ lopsided loss to Georgia back in November and he arrived for AU’s media session yesterday on crutches.  He explained the injury and the rehab:

“I tore my ACL, my MCL, my posterior medial oblique.  I think I did a good job with it… of just tearing everything. …

(Rehab is) going good.  The first week or so, I’d say it was probably the easiest.  Ever since then, it’s been getting harder, but it’s not anything I can’t handle.”

At least the kid sounds like he’s got a good attitude about the rehab process.  There is no timetable for his recovery.

Bell will be a senior next season.

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AU’s Ross Transferring To Missouri, Armstrong Leaving Too

The leading scorer from Auburn’s basketball team last year is heading west.  Earnest Ross announced yesterday via Twitter that he is transferring from The Plains to Missouri.

Ross averaged 13.2 points a game and 6.6 rebounds a game for the Tigers last season, leading Tony Barbee’s squad in both categories.

“There was never a mutual agreement between me and the (Auburn) coaches,” Ross said yesterday.  “I came to this decision with me and my family, and I think this is the best decision for me and my future.”

Compare that to Barbee’s official statement: “I have mutually agreed with Ty Armstrong and Earnest Ross for them to go in a different direction both academically and athletically.  We with them the best in their future.”

Armstrong and Ross are both juniors.  Armstrong tore his ACL last summer but returned to play in 12 games for the Tigers.

Ross will have to sit out a year before suiting up for Frank Haith’s Tigers — the ones in Missouri — in 2012-13.

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Sturdivant’s Options Still Open At UGA

Georgia left tackle Trinton Sturdivant has now lost three seasons to ACL tears.  Last weekend’s injury has left the senior in a painful spot according to his coach, Mark Richt.

“He’s making the best of it right now.  But he’s certainly hurt.  Knowing you’ve gotta go through that rehab is no fun, and not being certain where you go next, so to speak, I think is tough on him right now.  But the goal for all of us is to rally around him and encourage him and help him rehab.  And also help him go wherever he chooses to go.”

Sturdivant could still choose to petition the NCAA for a medical hardship waiver that would allow him play next year with a sixth year of eligibility.

“He still has options what he can do,” Richt said.  “He just has to decide.  Right now I don’t think he’s in a position to make a decision like that.”

Perhaps now, but it’s difficult to imagine an NFL team giving him much of a chance after two ACL tears to one knee and one to his other.  His best bet — if he wants to continue to play football — would likely be for him to return to Georgia in an effort to prove to NFL scouts that he’s healthy.

Of course, that’s what he was trying to do this spring when he suffered his third knee injury.

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Nutt Mourns Shackelford’s Injury; UM Not Ready To Say “Next” Yet

The loss of starting linebacker DT Shackelford to an ACL injury puts a serious hurt on Ole Miss.  In fact, Houston Nutt says that his program might not be ready to fully deal with such a loss.

“He was a tremendous, tremendous leader and he’ll continue to be so.  The thing about this game is there’s always an opportunity.  You’re a play away.  You’re always a play away.  Sometimes players don’t believe that but you’re a play away.

“And we’re at a point with our program where it’s hard for us to say ‘next.’  We knew these next couple of years, starting with last year, when you lose that many seniors… it’s a building process.  And you want to get to where you can always say ‘next’ and we’re not quite there yet.  That’s why we’ll have to depend on some freshmen coming in that will have to play.  You’d love to redshirt them but they’re going to have to play.”

That “We can’t say ‘next’” line might be a tough sell for Nutt.  Although all schools go through up and down cycles, coming off a 4-8 season as you head into Year Four of your tenure is probably not the best time to be talking about rebuilding.  So much for all that oversigning Nutt’s done.

But one signee who might benefit from Shackelford’s injury is freshman CJ Johnson.  Defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger: “We signed the best linebacker in the state of Mississippi, if not one of the best in the country in CJ Johnson.  It’s an opportunity for him to be smiling as well because he has the potential to see more playing time.”

Johnson was ranked by as the 21st best player in the nation and the #2 linebacker prospect in February’s class.

Shackelford has a redshirt year to use this year should he so choose.

(Sidenote — I went to college with a buddy named “Shackleford” and it’s tempting for me to misspell DT Shackelford’s name — it’s “elford” not “leford” — every time I type it.  When I slip, I apologize.  No insult is meant toward Shackelford.  It’s just an old man’s mind slowing going.)

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Bad News: UM’s Shackelford Tears ACL

Just days after Georgia suffered a key loss in the person of left tackle Trinton Sturdivant, now another SEC program has taken a blow via knee injury.

Starting Ole Miss weakside linebacker DT Shackelford will miss six to eight months — meaning he’ll likely be out for the 2011 season — to recover from a torn ACL suffered yesterday during practice.

The player will undergo surgery sometime in the next two weeks, according to an Ole Miss spokesperson.

Ironically, the two coaches seated atop the SEC’s two hottest seats are the men who will have to deal with these two recent ACL injuries to starters.  Not good.

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UGA’s Sturdivant To Miss Season After Third Major Knee Tear

After enduring two ACL tears in the left knee during his Georgia career, offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant has now gone down with an ACL tear in his other knee.

The fifth-year senior suffered the injury during a scrimmage on Saturday.  He will undergo surgery to repair the knee “sometime this week.”

UGA has not said whether or not Sturdivant will miss the season, but it’s unlikely he could return by the fall.  It’s possible he could petition the NCAA for another season via medical hardship if he is out in 2011.

After being named a freshman All-American in 2007, he missed the 2008 and 2009 seasons with his previous knee injuries.  Last year he played in 12 games and started seven at left tackle.

First, this is a sad situation for Sturdivant.  On a personal level, the young man has continued to battle back, recuperate and rehabilitate his knees to no avail.  After returning twice previously, now he must go through the same routine again.  Even if he chooses to hang up his cleats, he’ll still have to go through the rehab process… which isn’t pleasant.

Second, the injury is a cause for concern for the Bulldogs.  Cordy Glenn — UGA’s right tackle — has four starts under his belt on the left side.  Whether he moves from right to left or not, new offensive line coach Will Friend will have to plug in a new, inexperienced body at one of his starting tackle spots.  Welcome to Athens.

Just a sad story to start the week.  For Georgia, and especially for Sturdivant.

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Auburn’s Sullivan Out For The Season

We at hope Auburn fans enjoyed the hell out of the 2010 football season… because the 2010-11 basketball season appears to be delivering the proverbial comeuppance.  To lift a line from “A Christmas Story”:

“Oh, life is like that.  Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.”

Rack focus into Auburn’s hoops season.  Not only are the Tigers saddled with an RPI rating in the 300s, but now they’re losing junior guard Frankie Sullivan for the rest of the season.

Sullivan tore the ACL in his left knee last July.  After working his way back, he took part in six Auburn games this season.  He averaged 8 points and 3 assists in those contests.  But Sullivan’s knee is still not back to 100% and “hasn’t progressed the way he’s wanted it to,” according to his coach.  So AU is shutting him down now while a medical redshirt remains an option (as he will have played in less than 30% of the Tigers’ games).

“Frankie Sullivan means so much to our team, on and off the court,” Tony Barbee said.  “He is a team leader.  Frankie’s health is our number one concern with him.”

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