"It's a decision that we all feel like was in his best interest," Richt said. "He feels very strong that it is in his best interest, too. He just wants to make sure that his senior year is a strong, healthy one."
Durham will redshirt the upcoming season and return for a fifth year with the Bulldogs in 2010.
Richt said the surgery is scheduled for May. Had Durham hoped to get on the field in 2009, they would have performed the procedure earlier, but instead the receiver will wait until the end of his academic year before undergoing the surgery. Richt said it is typically a minimum recovery time of about six months.
Durham's absence leaves Georgia with just seven scholarship receivers for 2009. Michael Moore and A.J. Green are the projected starters, with Tony Wilson, Tavarres King, Israel Troupe and incoming freshmen Rontavious Wooten and Marlon Brown rounding out the roster. Richt said freshman cornerback Brandon Smith could get some action at receiver, too, and freshman tight end Orson Charles could also be split out wide.
"It is going to push other guys to the forefront," Richt said. "Durham would have been a big part of what we're doing, and him leaving definitely puts a hole. He was at least in our top four."