Crawford: Monk In Good Spirits

FAYETTEVILLE -- Via cell phone, Arkansas wide receiver Marcus Monk relayed a positive message Wednesday. His replacement at split end for Saturday's season-opener against Troy, sophomore London Crawford, marveled at Monk's ability to look at the bright side of his situation.

Monk gave Crawford a pep talk, without whining about his own condition, despite having to spend Wednesday recovering from his second arthroscopic surgery this month.

"He just told me to keep my head up and stay focused," Crawford said. "He was like, 'Go out and play like I know you can.' I'm just amazed at his attitude. It's difficult not having Marcus out there.

"He's like a big brother, and those are big shoes to fill."

Monk's return to the field took a side-step Tuesday when he underwent another surgery to remove loose particles in his right knee.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said he hadn't seen Monk yet but that the news Wednesday was encouraging.

"They took out two floating bodies, and they weren't very big," Nutt said. "The good news is, there's good healing going on now with the cartilage. I'm excited about that.

"I can't put a timetable on his return yet, but he is healing good."

Nutt said Monk, who had the first surgery on Aug. 13, noticed some discomfort in his knee on Monday after putting a sock sleeve on his propped-up knee. Monk first hurt his knee on Aug. 9 when he took a vicious hit from free safety Michael Grant.

Crawford said Monk has shaken off the setback, deciding instead to support teammates and eventually resume vigorous rehab. He said Monk hopes to return for Arkansas' game against Kentucky on Sept. 22.

"He wants to be back on the field, mostly just to be with his teammates," Crawford said.

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