Savage Out for the Season After Surgery

The news on the injury is not good concerning Auburn's Aairon Savage.

Auburn, Ala.--Junior cornerback Aairon Savage underwent major knee surgery on Wednesday at The Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Fla., and will be out for the entire 2008 football season.

Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville said the junior will be missed. The coach did not provide specifics on the extent of Savage's injury suffered in Monday evening's practice. However, Antwone Savage, Aairon's older brother and a former football star at Oklahoma, originally told The Albany, Ga., Herald that Aairon dislocated his right kneecap, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament damage. However, Andrews just had to repair the anterior cruciate ligament, Antwone Savage noted.

Savage, who started as a redshirt freshman at safety, made the move to cornerback in spring drills. He was running first team at the position ahead of fellow junior Walter McFadden, who is the heavy favorite to be the starter opposite returning starter, junior Jerraud Powers.

Savage made this interception on Monday not belong before suffering his injury. Philip Pierre-Louis (82), a freshman, was the intended receiver.

Auburn coaches are trying to get true freshmen Harry Adams, D'Antoine Hood and Neiko Thorpe (former known as Neiko Lipscomb) ready for immediate action. The Tigers also return sophomore Ryan Williams, who played sparingly last fall.

Savage, who has already used his redshirt year, is a player respected by his teammates for his work ethic as well as his athletic ability and toughness.

The Tigers graduated three cornerbacks from the 2007 team, including two players who are in NFL training camps--Pat Lee and Jonathan Wilhite. Zach Gilbert was also a senior last year.

"They are good athletes," Tuberville says of the freshman cornerbacks who are making a push for playing time. "They can make up for mistakes. They don't know enough technique right now. There is a lot of technique in what they are doing. Hopefully, they can get it and mentally come around and stay healthy. The big thing is no ankle injuries, bruises."

Tuberville adds, "It is a situation where we have to find more than one. We were looking for several to play nickel and dime defenses. It just puts another guy in the limelight. They have got to show up."

Tuberville says the Tigers have had to overcome losses of key players prior to other seasons. "We have had some depth and guys have had to step up and play," he notes. "That is just part of it. You just hate it. You especially hate for a guy who has worked as hard as Aairon, but he will be fine. We will be there with him, no matter what happens."

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