Vinnett Headed Toward Knee Surgery

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas senior cornerback Darius Vinnett's chronic knee tendinitis has cost him again.

A season after earning a medical redshirt because of the condition, Vinnett will miss approximately five weeks and have surgery on the knee, Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said.

"Bless his heart. This young man has done everything the right way," Nutt said. "The one thing about Darius, he'll be in the training room as soon as (Arkansas head trainer) Dean (Weber) gets there, and that's awfully early."

Vinnett's surgery will be on the opposite leg from the one operated on a year ago.

Last season, Vinnett played in three games before being sidelined.

"I expect him to be back this year, hopefully get the SEC schedule in," Nutt said.

Vinnett started 10 of 11 games during his first year at Arkansas in 2004 and started two out of three before going down with the knee injury last season.

Redshirt freshman running back Michael Smith returned to practice Monday and was back Tuesday after injuring his hamstring early in practice.

Smith's injury — coupled with Darren McFadden's dislocated toe just before practices started — helped lead to green, no-contact jerseys being given to Felix Jones, Peyton Hillis and Marcus Monk.

Smith said he hoped to be back full-speed by Saturday's scrimmage.

"It's still tight but I can see improvement everyday," Smith said. "That's a good sign, especially with a hamstring. I haven't had any setbacks, knock on wood."

McFadden should have the pin removed from his left big toe soon.

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