For the third time in his college football career, Georgia offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant has suffered a major knee injury.
Sturdivant, who twice previously tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, sustained the same injury to his right knee during Saturday’s closed scrimmage in Sanford Stadium, UGA said Sunday after diagnostic tests.
Sturdivant will undergo surgery to repair the ACL “sometime this week” and is expected to conduct his rehabilitation at UGA, according to assistant athletic director for sports medicine Ron Courson.
Sturdivant would be a fifth-year senior in the fall, and Georgia did not say if the latest injury will cost him the season or end his college football career, deferring those topics until after the surgery.
However, based on the rehabilitation time required from his two previous knee surgeries, a return in the 2011 season would be unlikely. According to mayoclinic.com, athletes who successfully rehab from ACL surgery “often can return to their sports after six to 12 months.”
If Sturdivant misses the 2011 season, he conceivably could petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility to play in 2012. Student-athletes who miss two or more seasons because of injury sometimes are allowed a sixth year.
Sturdivant was a freshman All-American in 2007, when he started all 13 games for the Bulldogs at left tackle, but he missed the entire 2008 season after tearing the ACL and two other ligaments in his left knee during a preseason scrimmage. He returned to start the opening game of the 2009 season but again tore the left ACL in that game and missed the remainder of the season. He fought back to play last season, appearing in 12 games and starting seven at left tackle.
Sturdivant considered entering the NFL draft this year but “came to the conclusion it’d be best for me to stay here,” he said in a January interview. One reason, he said at the time, was “to make the GMs in the NFL feel more comfortable about drafting someone with two ACL [surgeries].”
Sturdivant and converted guard Cordy Glenn had been alternating between left and right tackles during spring practice. Other options at tackle include A.J. Harmon, Austin Long, Kolton Houston and Brent Benedict. Or another player, perhaps Kenarious Gates or Justin Anderson, could be shifted from guard.
– Tim Tucker, AJC