Virginia Tech DB had a post-surgery message for Dr. James Andrews

    After knee surgery, Antone Exum told Dr. James Andrews the Hokies were going to beat Alabama. (USATSI)    
After knee surgery, Antone Exum told Dr. James Andrews the Hokies were going to beat Alabama. (USATSI)

Virginia Tech defensive back Antone Exum underwent surgery last month to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. The procedure was handled by Dr. James Andrews, who, in addition to being one of the most respected surgeons in his profession, is an Alabama fan and consultant for the team.

The Hokies and Tide are scheduled to kick off the 2013 season on Aug. 31 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta. Andy Bitter, of the Virginian-Pilot, spoke to the All-ACC cornerback and learned about some friendly post-surgery smack talk from Exum.

Andrews "went up to my mom and was like, 'He's delirious in there. All he keeps saying is how he's going to be back for Alabama and they're going to beat Alabama,' " Exum said. "So I guess that was the first thing on my mind."

According to Exum, his right knee has not been full strength since he first suffered a minor injury against Cincinnati on Sept. 29. He suffered a torn ACL after landing awkwardly on a layup playing pickup basketball. In addition to having a post-surgical smack game, Exum has taken a positive look at the entire situation.

"I see it as a blessing that it happened when it happened because ... it could have happened during the season or during spring ball or during camp," Exum explained. "At least now, I have time to really rehab it and try to get back."

Whether Exum can make it back for the season opener in Atlanta is yet to be determined. The medical staff has set his rehab timetable at six-to-eight months, which could possibly extend his absence into October.

Virginia Tech will open spring practice on March 27.

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CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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