The junior, who missed most of spring practice with hamstring injury and still needed two more weeks to recover from the injury, underwent hernia surgery Monday morning. He is now expected to miss four to six weeks.
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said the hernia was discovered during a routine physical given to players when they report to campus.
"It's not a sports hernia or anything like that," Petrino said. "It's just your good, old-fashioned hernia that he had to have repaired.
"We had no other decision."
The Razorbacks decided to keep Norton on the 105-man roster the next two weeks so he could continue to rehabilitate his hamstring.
Freshman cornerback Tramain Thomas was wearing a familiar number Monday. But the Winnie, Texas, native said it wasn't his choice.
Thomas said he showed up on campus this summer and was assigned the No. 5, which was made famous by record-setting running back Darren McFadden the past three years. Thomas said he had no problem the number at first, but then realized how much attention he'd receive following McFadden in the No. 5 jersey.
"At first I was like, ‘All right, cool,'" Thomas said. "But now, it ain't cool no more."
Thomas said it helps he doesn't play on the same side of the ball as McFadden. But Thomas — who has never worn No. 5 — hinted that he may only have to wear it this season.
"They said they were going to retire his number or something like that," Thomas said.
More Fun With Numbers
Defensive end Adrian Davis also had to explain the number he was wearing Monday.
The junior, who sported No. 57 the first part of his career, switched to No. 18 because of his work on Arkansas' field goal team.
Davis said he is a wing player in the field goal team and the staff asked him to change to an eligible number in case he is ever called on to run a route as a receiver during a trick play.
"It wasn't a problem with me," Davis said. "I'm just trying to be out here for the team, anything they need me to do I'm going to do."
Of course, Davis joked that catching a touchdown pass would be a nice reward for his willingness to switch numbers.
Defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell, who missed spring practice after undergoing knee surgery, was back on the field Monday. But Petrino said the senior still has plenty of work to do, especially after his offseason run in with the law.
Mitchell was cited for simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and improper display of tags after a traffic stop in June. The charges were merged into one misdemeanor count last week and Mitchell settled the issue by paying a $150 fine.
"I'm not sure how good graces he's in, but he is back," Petrino said. "It was a situation that basically took care of itself, but he's got a long way to go. He needs to get back physically, he needs to have an understanding of what we're doing."
A handful of Razorbacks spent time in the training area Monday because of heat-related reasons and other injuries.
The list included running backs Brandon Barnett and Dennis Johnson, offensive lineman Kareem Crowell and Grant Cook, linebackers Wendel Davis, Jelani Smith and Jermaine Love, and receiver John Aaron Rees.
None of the injuries appeared to be severe.
Arkansas has selected five captains for the 2008 season. The honors go to quarterback Casey Dick, center Jonathan Luigs, linebacker Elston Forte, cornerback Jamar Love and defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard
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