Sugar Bowl: Anderson very questionable

Gerald Anderson

ATLANTA – When he finally made it to a Georgia practice Saturday morning, defensive tackle Gerald Anderson didn't look like a man who will be playing in the Sugar Bowl.

The senior starter has suffered from back spasms the last three days and spent most of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in bed. He walked gingerly around the field under his own power Saturday while his teammates practiced.

"It's been getting better," said Gerald Anderson, who estimated he has only half his usual range of motion. "I'm able to at least walk now. Right now, it's day-to-day. Honestly, I don't know."

Coach Mark Richt declined to categorize Anderson as out, doubtful, questionable or probable for the game. The No. 8 Bulldogs (10-2) play No. 11 West Virginia (10-1) on Monday at 8:30 p.m.

"We're hopeful," Richt said. "I know it's not one of the four categories of whether someone is going to play or not, but I'm adding a category."

Ray Gant is expected to take Anderson's spot at tackle.

"We'll be all right up front," Gant said. "We've had both starters out before."

Anderson first began experiencing tightness in his back during Wednesday's practice, Georgia's first in Atlanta.

"It got worse as practice kept going," he said. "It got to the point I couldn't stand up straight or bend over."

Even if Anderson can play, he probably won't be very effective because of conditioning. Due to the Christmas break and his injury, he will have had just one day of practice in the 11 days prior to the game.

"That would be a big concern if I'm able to play," he said.

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