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November 7, 2012

Richt ponders hip surgery

Head coach Mark Richt said Wednesday he still hasn't decided exactly when he plans on having hip surgery, although right now shortly after Signing Day appears to be the best bet.

"If I do it ... I haven't decided yet, but if I do it, there are different windows of time," Richt said after practice. "The earliest possible time would be after Signing Day because I think there would be a window of time where I could recover enough to be able to do that I need to do. There's a couple of things I would have to move around that are already on my schedule, but they are things that could be moved."

Richt's pending surgery became news Tuesday following a story in the Atlanta Constitution. In the article, Richt revealed that his current issue is due to an old injury which originally came as the result of a swing set incident the coach said took place 26 years ago during a family picnic in Indiana.

"The first thing I hit was my hip and it hit hard ground," recalled Richt, who drew a picture of the swing for the media on a white board inside. "I laid there, I couldn't breathe and I was having body sweats. My wife (Katharyn) came over to make sure I was OK, but as soon as she knew that I was OK, that I wasn't dead, then she and her family had a really good laugh. I really thought I broke it right then, but I was able to get up, walk it off and suck it up."

But while Richt believes the swing mishap to be the cause of his current issue, it was a recent session while using P90x, a series of workout DVDs that the pain started to flare up again.

"I felt like I pulled a hip flexor muscle and it wasn't going away," Richt recalled. "I told myself I could try to wait until it feels good again, or I can keep going to stay in condition so I kept sucking it up and the pain got a little worse. It started to be sore more at night when I started to sleep, kind of gravitated to where my hip is. That's where the pain really started radiating from."

Richt said he's thought about postponing the surgery until later next year.

"I could also maybe wait till after spring ball, but there's a lot of Bulldog Club stuff there and obligations. I could wait until those are done, but then you've got your summer camps and what I really don't want to do is go too deep into the summer and not really be in the kind of condition I need to be to start the year," Richt said. "If I get it done after Signing Day, by the summer time I might be able to exercise and get in good condition. That's what I'd like to do, if that's what I'm going to do."

Injury update

Richt said that junior guard Chris Burnette, who missed practice due to a shoulder injury again Wednesday, has a good chance to travel this week and possibly be ready.

Sophomore Mark Beard has seen action at tackle and guard this season while sophomore Watts Dantzler and junior Austin Long have been getting "reps" at practice this week too.

"I'm not sure how we'd rotate the guys in there," Richt said. "I'm glad Mark has been getting an opportunity to play because the more he plays, he is getting more comfortable. After Mark, the two closest guys would be Watts and Austin."

Other Bulldogs on Wednesday's post-practice injury report included fullback Merritt Hall (ankle, limited) and linebacker Chase Vasser (left shoulder sprain, out).

Jones never considered Auburn

Although he grew up in Columbus, a virtual stone's throw from Auburn, linebacker Jarvis Jones said he never seriously considered playing for the Tigers.

"Not really. From the get-go I didn't want to go to Auburn," said Jones, who originally signed with Southern Cal before matriculating to Georgia. "I felt it was too close to home for me. I visited a couple of times but I really didn't give them a good look and I really don't think they recruited me that much."

Still, it's a game Jones said he gained an appreciation for after playing in the contest for the first time last year and is looking forward to his first trip to Jordan-Hare Saturday night (7 p.m., ESPN2).

"Auburn has always been a good school as an SEC school, another opponent on our schedule. My high school coach (Del McGee)played at Auburn, so he's an Auburn alum. He might give me the jabber-jabber, plus I've got a former teammate (Gabe Wright) at Auburn. It's a big game. Being from the Columbus, Auburn and Phenix City area, they're bound between the three - Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. It's a rough area to be a fan of those three down there, especially during this game. It's going to be a big game for us and a big game for them."

But for Jones, coming out on top in Saturday's game means much more than being to get one up on a couple of old friends.

The Bulldogs (8-1, 6-1) need a win over the Tigers (2-7, 0-6) to win the SEC East and get back to the Georgia Dome for the second consecutive year.

"I think this game to me is bigger than the Florida game because it sets the foundation of going the Dome and not going to the Dome," Jones said. "We know Auburn's players are going to be ready to put a stop to our season. We've really got to focus, know our game plan and preparation so we can go out and have fun."

This and that

Richt was pleased with Wednesday's workout at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility. "We had another excellent day of practice, working on fundamentals and the game-plan," said Richt.



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