Bulldogs’ Malcolm Mitchell sidelined again with knee injury

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Bulldogs’ Malcolm Mitchell sidelined again with knee injury

A knee injury has Malcolm Mitchell sidelined once again

UGA on Friday confirmed that Georgia’s star wide receiver will miss at least “the first part” of Georgia’s preseason practices after suffering the injury while running pass routes with teammates this week. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on Thursday to repair cartilage damage. A full recovery is anticipated, but his availability for the Bulldogs’ season opener against Clemson will have to be determined later.

“I won’t make a guesstimate on when he’ll play,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said Friday. “He’s going to play when he’s healthy and ready to go. It was ‘scoped’ and it was a cartilage issue, so we’ll just see how quickly he can come back. But it’s really hard to say for sure.”

Mitchell, a junior from Valdosta, missed all but the first offensive series of last season after suffering an ACL injury against Clemson while celebrating a touchdown in the end zone with Todd Gurley last season. Mitchell reportedly had completely recovered from that injury and was working out full speed with his teammates before suffering a setback this week. The Bulldogs open preseason camp for the 2014 season on Friday.

“We’re down one guy before it even starts,” Richt said. “It makes you adjust. … You just have to adapt and improvise. It’s kind of a pain in the rear, but it’s part of football. So we’ll adjust with the depth that we have left over.”

Richt also indicated that junior Justin Scott-Wesley, who is recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, won’t be recovered sufficiently to expect early playing time. Among the players most likely to see their roles increased as a result of Mitchell’s absence are sophomores Reggie Davis and Blake Tibbs and the recently-converted defensive back Brendan Langley. Split end Chris Conley also can move inside to handle flanker responsibilities.

“We know that we have guys who can step up and play,” Conley said. “But we are feeling for Malcolm because we know how rough this is on him. We’re definitely more dynamic when we’re both on the field and I look forward to having him back. But we have some young talent who can do some great things.”

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