Pinkel: James Franklin to miss 3-to-5 weeks with shoulder injury

James Franklin could return as soon as Nov. 9. (USATSI)
James Franklin could return as soon as Nov. 9. (USATSI)
Missouri received some welcomed news from coach Gary Pinkel on Monday, as he said quarterback James Franklin would not miss as much time as initially feared with his shoulder injury.

Franklin fell on his right shoulder late in the Tigers' 41-26 upset of Georgia and suffered what was believed to be a shoulder separation, one Pinkel said afterward would keep him out "a while" and which reported was expected to cost the senior a minimum of six weeks.

But after testing, Pinkel said Monday that Franklin had suffered a shoulder sprain that would only keep him out three-to-five weeks. Per the Columbia Daily-Tribune, Pinkel added that his quarterback's mood had improved dramatically after an emotional Saturday.

Pinkel confirmed that redshirt freshman Maty Mauk would get the start in this week's home game against Florida, with Corbin Berkstresser his backup.

Assuming Franklin misses the minimum three weeks, he would not play in the Tigers' upcoming game against the Gators, their Oct. 26 home date with South Carolina, or the Nov. 2 home game against Tennessee. He would be questionable for the No. 9 away game at Kentucky.

With Mauk largely untested -- though he led the final two scoring drives of the Georgia game, he has attempted only six passes all season -- Franklin missing those critical games against the Gators and Gamecocks means his injury still looms as a potentially devastating blow to the Tigers' SEC East chances. But at least it's not a potential season-ender.

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