When Georgia begins preseason practices next week, Michael Bennett will be nearly 10 months removed from tearing the ACL in his right knee.
On a receiving corps that includes Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Conley, Georgia could again have another potent weapon in Bennett, the redshirt junior who was on top of his game when he was injured blocking in a practice on Oct. 2, the week of the South Carolina game.
“He says he feels great and feels fine,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “My conversations with him and the quarterbacks this summer is they like how he looks. I’ve seen him walk around the other day, I think he’s five pounds down. He looks great.”
Bennett led Georgia in receptions (24), receiving yards (345) and touchdown catches (four) before his season-ending injury.
Now he is close to 100 percent, Bobo said.
“I don’t want to give you the injury report,” Bobo said. “I know we’re not supposed to say all about that. He feels good about it in my conversations with him. He might still be wearing a smaller sleeve or brace, but the goal is to get him out of that.”
Bobo said Bennett has worked out all summer with teammates. Running for 30 to 45 minutes. Catching passes two times a week.
Practicing for up to three hours a session during the preseason will be taking it up a notch from running routes. He practiced in a limited capacity at the end of spring practice.
“We’ve got to be smart as coaches,” Bobo said. “I know he’s going to be anxious and (freshman) Tramel Terry’s going to be anxious to get there. All your players have that nervous energy. You’ve got to be smart as coaches to watch and make sure they don’t do anything too fast that might injure themselves and hurt their chances of getting better by missing practice.”
Terry is also coming off ACL surgery.
Both “might be on what you call a pitch count,” Bobo said. “How many plays he takes out there at practice. Just be smart.”
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