Gators 'frustrated' by mounting injuries

Florida head football coach Urban Meyer walks the field during the first football practice of the fall on Monday, Aug. 4, 2008.

Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, August 11, 2008 at 1:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 11, 2008 at 1:10 p.m.

Only a few practices into preseason camp, the most physical August days still lie ahead for the Florida Gators. But injuries have already become an issue.

The latest casualties on a long injury list are starting wide receiver Louis Murphy and potential starting cornerback Markihe Anderson. UF has already lost four players to season-ending ACL injuries (Cornelius Ingram, Dorian Munroe, Jim Barrie and John Curtis), dating back to a few weeks before the start of practice.

"We're all frustrated, we're all angry," UF coach Urban Meyer said after Monday's morning practice. "But you've got to do what you've got to do, and that's fight through all these nagging injuries. The problem was we've had four ACLs in a month period. That's not good."

The latest injuries do not appear serious, Meyer said.

Murphy has a sprained ankle and was in a protective boot Monday, while Anderson has a sprained wrist.

"Murphy's got a sprained ankle. I don't think it's that bad," Meyer said. "I imagine we'll get him back this week. Anderson has a sprained wrist. The good news is he had an MRI and x-rays, and it all came back negative. But it's painful. He should be back by midweek."

Several other players continue to miss practice time, including start wide receiver Percy Harvin (heel) and true freshmen defensive linemen Matt Patchan (pectoral muscle) and Omar Hunter (back), who practiced in pads for the first time Friday but had to avoid contact Monday morning.

Meyer said at media day last Friday that Harvin's injury was a concern after he had a setback earlier last week. Apparently there has been improvement because Harvin is expected to start practicing sometime this week, Meyer said.

"Before (Thursday)," Meyer said. "His attitude is good. He's just frustrated. He's a competitor who wants to go. He's not happy to sit and watch, he wants to go."

Hunter was expected to be back to full contact for the afternoon practice.

Meyer said Patchan also is making progress and getting close to being able to practice.

"He's up to 270-plus pounds," Meyer said.

Meyer said safety Bryan Thomas (knee) should be ready to practice when classes start for the fall semester. Thomas is not on the 105-man preseason practice roster.

"He won't play in that first game, but he'll be back when school starts," Meyer said.

In other news, Ingram underwent reconstructive knee surgery Monday morning. Ingram tore his ACL in a non-contact practice last Tuesday and is out for the season.

"(His attitude) is off the charts," Meyer said. "He's a superstar. He'll be a captain of our team this year."

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