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Monday, February 22, 2010

Updating the Spring Injuries

Figured you all might be interested in an updated list of the injuries Georgia will be dealing with this spring...

Justin Anderson (RSJr/OL) -- Shoulder injury, will be limited throughout the spring. Anderson will be in the mix for some playing time in the fall, but certainly won't be a favorite, and his absence this spring won't help his cause.

Austin Long (RSFr/OL) -- Back injury, will not participate this spring. Long underwent back surgery last year and is still only doing light workouts. He expects to be ready for full participation in the fall, but he'll essentially be starting his college career from scratch then.

Longo, Jeremy (RSSo/DE) -- Knee injury, will miss all of spring. Longo is an unfortunate case, and he's quickly approaching "bust" status. He's been injured virtually his entire career, and while he was already behind on the learning curve, things will get worse by missing a crucial month of practice in Todd Grantham's new 3-4.

Fred Munzenmaier (Jr/FB) -- Shoulder injury, will be limited during the spring. Munzenmaier's injury shouldn't affect his 2010 season much, as Shaun Chapas clearly has the starting job nailed down, and Munzenmaier has enough experience in the offense to pick up right where he left off in August.

Josh Murray (Sr/S) -- Shoulder injury, will be limited during the spring. Murray had name recognition coming in last season because he is the older brother of Georgia QB Aaron Murray. Josh could have a shot at some special teams work, but injuries have nagged at him since he arrived at Georgia, and he only had minimal work on the scout team in 2009.

Tanner Strickland (Jr/OL) -- Shoulder injury, will be limited during spring practice. Strickland suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery during offseason workouts last summer and is still not fully healed. He's been a weight-room wonder for much of his time at Georgia, but he has yet to see that translate into on-field performance, but a strong fall could put him in position for some playing time in a reserve role in 2010.

Trinton Sturdivant (Jr/OL) -- Knee injury, will miss spring practice. At this point, Georgia fans might best consider Sturdivant a luxury for next season rather than a key component of the offensive line. Sturdivant has missed virtually all of the past two seasons with two separate knee injuries. His most recent ACL tear wasn't nearly as serious as the one he suffered prior to the 2008 season, but he's nevertheless going to be a real wild card in 2010. If he's healthy and can perform anywhere near the level he did as a freshman in '07, it would be a huge boost for Georgia. But that's a big assumption at this point, and the Dawgs are probably better off hoping for a pleasant surprise than setting themselves up for another disappointment.

Those are the current crop of injuries. Here's another quick list of a few guys to keep an eye on:

Aaron Murray (RFr/QB) -- Murray is clearly the front-runner for the starting QB job, and a strong performance this spring would be helpful in easing some concerns of fans who know he's the biggest wild card on an offense that returns 10 starters. But he suffered through a broken leg his senior season in high school and was limited last spring because of it, then suffered arm fatigue and shoulder soreness last fall that may have been the determining factor in redshirting him. So is he injury prone? Not likely -- the leg injury was a freak thing, and the arm problems aren't uncommon for a guy getting a lot more work throwing than he probably ever had before. But the fact remains that, with a thin depth chart at the position and so much riding on his success, he can't afford another injury.

A.J. Green (Jr/WR) -- We all love A.J. How can you not? But despite all his greatness, he's been hurt for about 75 percent of his Georgia career, and that has limited how great he could be. He nearly hit the 1,000-yard mark as a freshman, but he did so with a nagging groin injury that stuck with him all season and had slowed him significantly by year's end. Last year, he dominated when healthy, despite few other offensive threats, but his season was cut short when he was injured against Florida, missed the Tennesssee Tech game with a lung bruise, then got hurt again in the first half against Auburn and missed the remainder of the regular season. So the idea here is this: Green at 75 percent is probably the best WR in the SEC. Green at 100 percent could be one of the two or three the best players at any position in the country.

Josh Davis (Sr/OL) -- Speaking of injury-prone players, Davis might fit the bill better than most. First off, he's undersized for a typical SEC tackle, so he puts a lot of strain on his body. The result was a serious shoulder injury that coast him last spring after two surgeries and forced him to miss the start of the 2009 season. Once he returned to the lineup, Georgia's running game flourished, but the injury bug cropped up once again as a sprained ankle kept him out of the Bulldogs' bowl game against Texas A&M. Davis should be 100 percent for spring, but he's being counted on unlike any previous season in his career, and he needs to stay healthy all year.

Caleb King (RSJr/RB) -- A healthy King means a dangerous running game for Georgia in 2010. The problem last year, however, was King wasn't consistently healthy. A nagging hamstring injury cost him his chance at a starting job during fall camp and held him out of the team's first two games. A concussion and broken jaw cost him the Tennessee game as well -- a game in which Georgia was completely frustrated on the ground. When healthy, however, King averaged more than 5 yards per carry, so keeping him on the field for 12 (or, ideally, 14) games this season would be a huge boost for Georgia's offense.

Jordan Love (RFr/CB) -- It's still a bit too soon to tell how much of an impact Love could have this season, but with Prince Miller's departure, there's playing time to be had, and at 6-foot, 190 pounds, Love has the size to fit into new DBs coach Scott Lakatos' defense well -- particularly as in nickel situations. But again, we just don't know what to expect from Love, since he missed almost all of last season with a toe injury -- originally suffered in high school -- that ended up requiring surgery. Love should be a full go this spring, and it will be interesting to see what he contributes.

Bruce Figgins (RSJr/TE) -- Figgins played hurt as a sophomore out of desperations, but missed all of last spring after having shoulder surgery. He served a six-game suspension to start the 2009 season and then elected to take a medical redshirt for the remainder of the year, in part due to lingering problems with his shoulder. While Georgia's tight ends -- Arthur Lynch, Orson Charles and Aron White -- turned in a solid campaign last year, their work as blockers, particularly in the running game, was short of where it needed to be. That's a role Figgins could fill nicely if he's back to full health in 2010.


BulldogBry said...

So is Figgins going to have to serve another suspension? There was some talk of that last year after he decided not to come back.

Who would have thought that Josh Davis would be such a key to the offensive line?

Carter said...

I'm interested to know what percentage of shoulder injuries occur in the weight room versus on the field.

Figgins' suspension is considered served.

Anonymous said...

Do any other teams suffer near the rate of shoulder injuries we see at UGA? This seems like a problem that recurs year after year.

UGA69Dawg said...

David here's a bit of investigative journalism for you, find out why UGA has all of these shoulder injuries. What do we do or not do that would cause a CDC worthy epidemic of shoulder injuries. Seriously, it has to be something systemic to our program since UGA's injuries over the last 10 years defy the laws of probability.

Anonymous said...

I bet Georgia has so many shoulder injuries because they call any vague injury a "shoulder injury." I.e. "Something's wrong - must be a shoulder."

Cojones said...

Have you considered that the shoulder injuries occur because we try to hit harder with the shoulder than most?

Question: Does anyone know any refs from the past and what the "word" was on the players as a group; i.e., Extremely physical, dirty,late hitters,etc.? Seems to me that the flag flies more often on the Dawgs when the film shows "no fault". I believe that the bias is there even if it is subconscious.

Most football players recover well from their injuries and I expect these guys to be no different. Most of us sympathize with Dawgs that don't return to peak performance because we know that their heart is in their comeback. Lets all wish them the best of luck. Sic'em Dawgs!

Dawgfan17 said...

A huge advantage to this year versus last year is I remember having a lot of starters (especially on the OL) that had off season surgery. It seemed to set us back early in the year. This year most of the guys listed as recovering for spring are guys that could provide depth but don't seem to be the key guys at this point. A lot can change over the spring and summer but this is the best I have felt about the injury situation since 2007 (when we finished #2)