Georgia has suffered an injury blow to one of its most critical playmakers -- but it may count itself fortunate that it wasn't worse.
The Bulldogs announced Thursday that leading returning receiver Malcolm Mitchell has torn the meniscus in his right knee in spring camp but will be fully recovered in time for fall practice. A statement issued by Georgia and published at 247Sports.com affiliate Dawgs 247 reads as follows:
University of Georgia junior split end Malcolm Mitchell will undergo a knee arthroscopy on Friday morning at St. Mary's Hospital for a torn meniscus.
Mitchell, a native of Valdosta, sustained the injury to his right knee in the Bulldogs' scrimmage last Saturday. According to UGA Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson, Mitchell will miss the remainder of spring practice, but is expected to make a full recovery by the team's preseason camp in August.
Mitchell caught 40 passes for 572 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2012 despite beginning the year as a cornerback in Georgia's suspension-depleted secondary. With top wideout Tavarres King gone (as well as third-leading receiver Marlon Brown), Mitchell is expected to focus on receiving in 2013 and enjoy a breakout season as Aaron Murray guns for the SEC's all-time passing mark and the Dawgs aim for a third straight SEC East championship.
That Mitchell will miss the remainder of spring camp and Saturday's spring game -- not to mention spend valuable workout time recuperating from the surgery -- is a setback. It will also no doubt be a disappointment to Georgia fans who wanted to see one of their team's most exciting players in action this weekend.
But losing him for any part of the season would be a much, much bigger setback for this team, which has to be thankful that Friday's surgery is of the arthroscopic variety, the injury to the meniscus rather than a ligament, and the timetable for Mitchell's recovery so friendly.