"Aches and Pains" catching up to Dawgs

Joe Cox

ATHENS – The Georgia Bulldogs had their first day off from practice Sunday, but when they hit the field for their second session of two-a-days today, it will be without several key players.

Safety Quintin Banks suffered a torn medial collateral ligament Saturday morning, and head coach Mark Richt said Banks will miss about six weeks following surgery scheduled for this week.

Banks, who Richt said was having a strong start to preseason camp, was penciled in as the third safety on Georgia's depth chart. The injury means redshirt freshman John Knox will move up to take Banks' spot, while some true freshmen may need to develop more quickly than expected.

"(Banks) is a guy who's really come on and ready to play," Richt said. "You hope Knox is, Knox has certainly shown some very good signs. But more than likely, you're going to have to have some young guys get work, get reps."

One of those freshman is Makiri Pugh, who also suffered a sprained ankle Saturday and will miss at least a week Richt said.

"We don't really need any more injuries right now," Richt said. "That was one of the (positions) going into the season we felt like we didn't have a lot of experienced depth. We had three that were experienced enough that were ready to go and now, we're sitting at two."

In addition to the two safeties, wide receivers A.J. Green, Walter Hill, Tavarres King, Israel Troupe and Michael Moore have all missed at least one day of practice during the first week of camp. Green returned to action quickly, and Richt said Troupe could be back on the field today. Hill broke his hand and will miss three to six weeks.

Star running back Knowshon Moreno has practiced all week, but spent Friday and Saturday in a green jersey to avoid contact while dealing with shoulder soreness.

Back-up quarterback Joe Cox also missed most of the week with elbow soreness, but Richt said Cox should be throwing again Monday.

On the defensive side, linebacker Akeem Hebron has an injured ankle, defensive end Jarius Wynn has some soreness following a sports hernia injury, but could return to action today, and defensive lineman Jeremy Longo broke his hand.

The rash of injuries hasn't come as a big surprise, Richt said. With the team starting two-a-days and getting in its first practices of full contact, a few bumps and bruises are to be expected.

"When you start running into each other, you're going to get aches and pains," Richt said. "In the summer, we're eight hours a week, and when we start camp, we're at eight hours a day almost."

Georgia will hold two-a-days today, Wednesday and Friday, and will hold its annual fan day and picture day Saturday.

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