Taylor out for 2004 with ACL

Tony Taylor

University of Georgia junior linebacker Tony Taylor of Watkinsville will miss the 2004 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered in Saturday's annual spring G-Day game. An MRI confirmed the injury over the weekend. He will undergo surgery in early May.

ATHENS – Georgia linebacker Tony Tony Taylor tore the ACL in his right knee during Saturday's G-Day game and will miss the 2004 season, he said Monday.

Taylor, a junior, started 12 games and had 82 tackles last year and was expected to be the Bulldogs' starting weak side linebacker this year. He hurt his knee on the first series of the second half of the annual spring game while trying to tackle tailback Kregg Lumpkin.

"My foot was planted in the ground, and, when I pulled him down, it stayed there," Taylor said.

After the game, Coach Mark Richt said team doctors were optimistic that there was no significant damage. However, an MRI taken Saturday evening revealed the tear, Taylor said. He is scheduled to have surgery May 18, and the injury typically takes four-to-six months of recovery after surgery.

"It's not the best news in the world, but it could be worse," Taylor said. "It's always hard not being able to go out and fight with your teammates, but I'll still be there with them."

Sophomore Danny Verdun Wheeler, who was named the team's Most Improved Linebacker this spring, is the Bulldogs' backup on the weak side. He played in 12 games and had 14 tackles last season.

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