Upchurch Our for the Year

Most thought he would be on the field this season, but now it will be a long way back to the football field for true freshman running back Roy Upchurch, who had surgery on his ankle Thursday morning, bringing a premature ending to his season.

"He had a bone defect in his ankle and underwent surgery. it's going to keep him out for this season," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said.

"Similar to Garrison Hearst."

Hearst missed the 1999 and 2000 NFL seasons with an ankle injury, returning for the 2001 season.

Roy Upchurch is definitely out for this season, but it could possibly be longer.

"We just found this out, probably just a couple of days ago. We continued to communicate with the doctors and research everything," Shula said. "He had surgery this morning on it. They looked at it over the last couple of days and he had surgery on it. All reports are that it went well."

Upchurch had an ankle injury in his senior year of high school, but the surgery-requiring injury was a different one, Shula said.

"He never said anything to us early in camp. I think maybe toward the end of the camp, when he missed a couple of days of practice is when his ankle started bothering. He felt like it got better and then got worse again. They did the MRI and that's when they found it."

Also on Thursday, Shula announced the end of Jake Wingo's football-playing career. "...after having his third concussion, and prolonged symptoms (Wingo) has been - the doctors really told him they don't want him to play anymore; medically disqualified him."

Shula said he hoped Wingo would be able to remain a part of the team in some capacity.

Roman Harper's absence from practice was not injury-related. Harper was excused for bereavement, and will be back on Friday.

B.J. Stabler practiced again today, and looked "real good". Stabler has a chance to be in the Mix on Saturday.

Mark Sanders and Terrence Jones did not practice, and are still described as questionable, although it is more likely the two won't play after missing a week of practice.

This week's team captains:
Offense: JB Closner
Defense: Anthony Madison
Special Teams: Matt Miller

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