Coutu out for the rest of the season

Brandon Coutu

ATHENS – An MRI on Georgia kicker Brandon Coutu revealed a torn hamstring muscle, an injury that will keep the junior All-America candidate out for the rest of the season.

"I feel sorry for Brandon, and we'll miss him for sure, but it's a reminder that injuries are a part of football," Bulldog coach Mark Richt said in a statement released by the school Friday. "The good news is that it looks like a full recovery is expected and we look forward to getting him back at full speed in time for next season."

Junior Andy Bailey, No. 10 Georgia's second scholarship place-kicker, will handle extra points and field goals in today's 7:45 p.m. game against No. 13 Tennessee and will compete with walk-on Ben Wilson for the job the remainder of the season. Wilson will handle kickoffs today.

Coutu was injured during Thursday's practice attempting a new onside kick technique.

"It's an unfortunate and unusual injury, but my spirits are good," he said in a statement. "My goal now is to begin the rehab process as quickly as possible and get ready for next year."

Coutu will not need surgery, but his leg will be immobilized for a period of time and rehabilitation will follow. He was 7-for-8 on field goals and 15-for-15 on extra points this season. His only miss came on a 53-yard attempt against Colorado.

Bailey, a native of Athens, Tenn., hit 14-of-20 field goals and had a long of 46 yards as a freshman before being beat out for the job by Coutu. Bailey, who has not attempted a kick since 2004, was not available for comment Friday.

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